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This is the book that made "innumeracy" a household word, at least in some households. Paulos admits that "at least part of the motivation for any book is anger, and this book is no exception. I'm distressed by a society which depends so completely on mathematics and science and yet seems to indifferent to the innumeracy and scientific illiteracy of so many of its citizens."
But that is not all that drives him. The difference between our pretensions and reality is absurd and humorous, and the numerate can see this better than those who don't speak math. "I think there's something of the divine in these feelings of our absurdity, and they should be cherished, not avoided."
Paulos is not entirely successful at balancing anger and absurdity, but he tries. His diatribes against astrology, bad math education, Freud, and willful ignorance are leavened with jokes, mathematical or the sort (he claims) favored by the numerate.
It remains to be seen if Innumeracy will indeed be able, as Hofstadter hoped, to "help launch a revolution in math education that would do for innumeracy what Sabin and Salk did for polio"--but many of the improvements Paulos suggested have come to pass within 10 years. Only time will tell if the generation raised on these new principles is more resistant to innumeracy--and need only worry about being incomputable. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Short, clear, concise, applied. This is a great book on numeracy, statistical and risk literacy. Perfect complement to Gigerenzer's Risk Savy.Published 9 months ago by Thomas Speidel
This book talks about numeracy and I think it is important.
Many problems in the world are caused by people not understand what number mean (and the book is packed with... Read more
It's a good book about mathematic and the importance of understanding numbers in everyday life. However, I'm afraid that after reading the book I find it difficult to remember a... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dom
Delighted by the latest Paulos' book (a mathematician plays the stock market) I was really interested in reading more of his books. Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by Amazon Customer
Innumerates in the press and politics threaten reasonable trade-offs because of wrong perception about the real risks of different actions or inactions. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by Øystein Sjølie
OK.. I'm a theatre major so it doesn't take to much for me to be impressed by numeric intelligence. But this is a good starting point to thinking of the "facts" of... Read morePublished on April 15 2004 by William Schubert
paulos is full of himself. after a couple of pages, i got tired of reading his jibberish which amounted to nothing more than him showing off his vocabulary. Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by dakbrar
This is a great book, i bought it in Bali airport, and enjoy it very much. I even bought several other books by Paulo: BEYOND NUMERACY which deals with more "numbers n... Read morePublished on Dec 28 2003 by T SANTOSO
The message of the book -- that mathematics (in particular what the author considers essential: a sense for "large" numbers, estimation, probability, and statistics) is too... Read morePublished on Dec 17 2003 by S. Park