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American Poems: Books: Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
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 Home » Books » Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

  • List Price: $16.95
  • Buy New: $1.26
  • as of 10/2/2014 13:21 EDT details
  • You Save: $15.69 (93%)
In Stock
  • Seller:Pier Sixteen28
  • Sales Rank:1,164,036
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Hardcover
  • Number Of Items:2
  • Edition:1st
  • Pages:144
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.8
  • Dimensions (in):9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8
  • Publication Date:February 1, 1989
  • ISBN:0809074478
  • EAN:9780809074471
  • ASIN:0809074478
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Features:
  • Mathematics
  • Numbers
  • Rationality

Also Available In:


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
Dozens of examples in innumeracy show us how it affects not only personal economics and travel plans, but explains mischosen mates, inappropriate drug-testing, and the allure of psuedo-science.
Amazon.com Review
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


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