How Not to Be Wrong
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The columnist for Slate's popular "Do the Math" celebrates the logical, illuminating nature of math in today's world, sharing in accessible language mathematical approaches that demystify complex and everyday problems.
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
"Using the mathematician's method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman, minus the jargon ... Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need"--
There's no point having a mind if you never change it In his bestselling How To Be Right, James provided an invigorating guide to how to talk to people with bad opinions. And yet the question he always gets asked is 'If you're so sure about everything, haven't you ever changed your mind?' In an age of us vs. them, tribal loyalties and bitter divisions, the ability to change our minds may be the most important power we have. In this intimate, personal new book, James's focus shifts from talking to other people to how you talk to yourself about what you really think. Ranging across a dazzling array of big topics, cultural questions and political hot potatoes, James reveals where he has changed his mind, explains what convinced him, and shows why all of us need to kick the tyres of our opinions, check our assumptions and make sure we really think what we think we do. Coloured with stories of changing minds from the incredible guests on his podcasts and callers to his radio show, and spanning big ideas like press regulation and brexit, through to playful subjects like football and dog-ownership, How Not To Be Wrong is packed with revelations, outrage, conversations and lots of humour. Because in a world that seems more divided than ever, if you can't change your own mind you'll never really be able to change anyone else's.
The voice of reason in a world that won’t shut up. The Sunday Times Bestseller Every day, James O’Brien listens to people blaming hard-working immigrants for stealing their jobs while scrounging benefits, and pointing their fingers at the EU and feminists for destroying Britain. But what makes James’s daily LBC show such essential listening – and has made James a standout social media star – is the incisive way he punctures their assumptions and dismantles their arguments live on air, every single morning. In the bestselling How To Be Right, James provides a hilarious and invigorating guide to talking to people with unchallenged opinions. With chapters on every lightning-rod issue, James shows how people have been fooled into thinking the way they do, and in each case outlines the key questions to ask to reveal fallacies, inconsistencies and double standards. If you ever get cornered by ardent Brexiteers, Daily Mail disciples or corporate cronies, this book is your conversation survival guide.
From composer, musician, philanthropist--and son of Warren Buffett--comes a warm, wise, and inspirational book that expounds on the strong set of values given to him by his trusting and broadminded mother, his industrious and talented father, and the many life teachers he has met along the way.
Statistics Done Wrong describes how researchers often go wrong and teaches you the best practices for avoiding their mistakes.
“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.” —Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.
"If you're as interested in Japan as I am, I think you'll find that The Power to Compete is a smart and thought-provoking look at the future of a fascinating country." - Bill Gates, "5 Books to Read This Summer" Father and son – entrepreneur and economist – search for Japan's economic cure The Power to Compete tackles the issues central to the prosperity of Japan – and the world – in search of a cure for the "Japan Disease." As founder and CEO of Rakuten, one of the world's largest Internet companies, author Hiroshi Mikitani brings an entrepreneur's perspective to bear on the country's economic stagnation. Through a freewheeling and candid conversation with his economist father, Ryoichi Mikitani, the two examine the issues facing Japan, and explore possible roadmaps to revitalization. How can Japan overhaul its economy, education system, immigration, public infrastructure, and hold its own with China? Their ideas include applying business techniques like Key Performance Indicators to fix the economy, using information technology to cut government bureaucracy, and increasing the number of foreign firms with a head office in Japan. Readers gain rare insight into Japan's future, from both academic and practical perspectives on the inside. Mikitani argues that Japan's tendency to shun international frameworks and hide from global realities is the root of the problem, while Mikitani Sr.'s background as an international economist puts the issue in perspective for a well-rounded look at today's Japan. Examine the causes of Japan's endless economic stagnation Discover the current efforts underway to enhance Japan's competitiveness Learn how free market "Abenomics" affected Japan's economy long-term See Japan's issues from the perspective of an entrepreneur and an economist Japan's malaise is seated in a number of economic, business, political, and cultural issues, and this book doesn't shy away from hot topics. More than a discussion of economics, this book is a conversation between father and son as they work through opposing perspectives to help their country find The Power to Compete.
An international bestseller The book-length answer to anyone who ever put their hand up in math class and asked, “When am I ever going to use this in the real world?” “Fun, informative, and relentlessly entertaining, Humble Pi is a charming and very readable guide to some of humanity's all-time greatest miscalculations—that also gives you permission to feel a little better about some of your own mistakes.” —Ryan North, author of How to Invent Everything Our whole world is built on math, from the code running a website to the equations enabling the design of skyscrapers and bridges. Most of the time this math works quietly behind the scenes . . . until it doesn’t. All sorts of seemingly innocuous mathematical mistakes can have significant consequences. Math is easy to ignore until a misplaced decimal point upends the stock market, a unit conversion error causes a plane to crash, or someone divides by zero and stalls a battleship in the middle of the ocean. Exploring and explaining a litany of glitches, near misses, and mathematical mishaps involving the internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, the Roman Empire, and an Olympic team, Matt Parker uncovers the bizarre ways math trips us up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world. Getting it wrong has never been more fun.
In this lively volume, mathematician John Allen Paulos employs his singular wit to guide us through an unlikely mathematical jungle—the pages of the daily newspaper. From the Senate and sex to celebrities and cults, Paulos takes stories that may not seem to involve math at all and demonstrates how mathematical naïveté can put readers at a distinct disadvantage. Whether he’s using chaos theory to puncture economic and environmental predictions, applying logic to clarify the hazards of spin doctoring and news compression, or employing arithmetic and common sense to give us a novel perspective on greed and relationships, Paulos never fails to entertain and enlighten.
If you want to outsmart a crook, learn his tricks—Darrell Huff explains exactly how in the classic How to Lie with Statistics. From distorted graphs and biased samples to misleading averages, there are countless statistical dodges that lend cover to anyone with an ax to grind or a product to sell. With abundant examples and illustrations, Darrell Huff’s lively and engaging primer clarifies the basic principles of statistics and explains how they’re used to present information in honest and not-so-honest ways. Now even more indispensable in our data-driven world than it was when first published, How to Lie with Statistics is the book that generations of readers have relied on to keep from being fooled.
Summary of How Not to Be Wrong By Jordan Ellenberg - The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life SYNOPSIS: How Nоt to Bе Wrоng gives uѕ an іntіmаtе glіmрѕе into how mathematicians thіnk аnd how wе саn bеnеfіt from thеіr wау оf thіnkіng. It also еxрlаіnѕ how easily wе can bе mіѕtаkеn whеn we аррlу mаthеmаtісаl tооlѕ іnсоrrесtlу, аnd gіvеѕ advice оn how we саn іnѕtеаd fіnd соrrесt ѕоlutіоnѕ. ABOUT THЕ AUTHОR: Jordan Ellеnbеrg іѕ a рrоfеѕѕоr of mаthеmаtісѕ аt thе Unіvеrѕіtу оf Wіѕсоnѕіn-Mаdіѕоn. Hіѕ wоrk covers a wide vаrіеtу оf mаthеmаtісаl topics, іnсludіng arithmetic geometry and number thеоrу. Ellenberg wrіtеѕ thе popular column, "Dо thе Mаth" fоr Slate, аnd hаѕ hаd wоrk appear іn The Nеw York Tіmеѕ, thе Wаѕhіngtоn Pоѕt аnd Thе Wаll Street Jоurnаl. He іѕ аlѕо thе аuthоr оf thе nоvеl Grasshopper Kіng.DISCLAIMER: This bооk іѕ nоt mеаnt tо rерlасе thе оrіgіnаl bооk but tо ѕеrvе аѕ a companion tо іt.
F stands for "funny" in this perfect gift for students or anyone who has ever had to struggle through a test and needs a good laugh. Celebrating the creative side of failure in a way we can all relate to, F in Exams gathers the most hilarious and inventive test answers provided by students who, faced with a question they have no hope of getting right, decide to have a little fun instead. Whether in science (Q: What is the highest frequency noise that a human can register? A: Mariah Carey), the humanities (Q: What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common? A: Unusual names), math, or other subjects, these 250 entries prove that while everyone enjoys the spectacle of failure, it's even sweeter to see a FAIL turn into a WIN.
This is one of the first bestseller self-help books. Its intention is to enable you to make friends quickly and easily, help you to win people to your way of thinking, increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done, as well as enable you to win new clients, new customers. Twelve Things This Book Will Do For You: Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily. Increase your popularity. Help you to win people to your way of thinking. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done. Enable you to win new clients, new customers. Increase your earning power. Make you a better salesman, a better executive. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates. Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born into poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), a massive bestseller that remains popular today.
Calculus. For some of us, the word conjures up memories of ten-pound textbooks and visions of tedious abstract equations. And yet, in reality, calculus is fun and accessible, and surrounds us everywhere we go. In Everyday Calculus, Oscar Fernandez demonstrates that calculus can be used to explore practically any aspect of our lives, including the most effective number of hours to sleep and the fastest route to get to work. He also shows that calculus can be both useful—determining which seat at the theater leads to the best viewing experience, for instance—and fascinating—exploring topics such as time travel and the age of the universe. Throughout, Fernandez presents straightforward concepts, and no prior mathematical knowledge is required. For advanced math fans, the mathematical derivations are included in the appendixes. The book features a new preface that alerts readers to new interactive online content, including demonstrations linked to specific figures in the book as well as an online supplement. Whether you're new to mathematics or already a curious math enthusiast, Everyday Calculus will convince even die-hard skeptics to view this area of math in a whole new way.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the book which helped launch the current economic miracle, Gateway Books is proudly repackaging and re-releasing The Way the World Works. Jude Wanniski's masterpiece defined the economic policies of the 1980s responsible for a booming stock market, the creation of thirty million new jobs, untold wealth, and unparalleled prosperity.
After a violent mugging forever altered the way his brain works, the author, the first documented case of acquired savant syndrome with mathematical synesthesia, recounts how he overcame huge setbacks and embraced his unique gifts.
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.