Friday, June 13, 2014

How Not to be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg

How Not to be Wrong is a collection of essays about math and popular culture by Jordan Ellenberg, author of the popular Slate column Do the Math. I wrote a profile of Ellenberg for Isthmus, and here's a bit of what I said about the book:

How Not to Be Wrong isn't just for math geeks. Ellenberg's writing is accessible and friendly. In one chapter, he deconstructs the methods several MIT students used to scam the Massachusetts State Lottery. In another, called "Dead Fish Don't Read Minds," he examines the ways scientific data are analyzed, vetted and reported. This essay made me doubt everything I thought I knew about the reliability of scientific reporting.

That is exactly Ellenberg's goal. Armed with an understanding of the math behind things like new obesity studies and unemployment reports, you can draw your own conclusions. You will no longer be constrained by others' interpretations. If you do your own math, you won't be misled.

Here's a link to the full profile on The Daily Page, the online edition of Isthmus.

(Book 10, 2014)


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