200% of Nothing: From 'Percentage Pumping' to 'Irrational Ratios - An Eye-Opening Tour Through the Twists and Turns of Math Abuse and Innumeracy

Dewdney, A. K.

Published by Wiley, 1993
ISBN 10: 0471577766 / ISBN 13: 9780471577768
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Synopsis: Acclaim for "In today's world, 'innumeracy' is an even greater danger than illiteracy, and is perhaps even more common. Advertisers and politicians exploit it; intellectuals (self-styled) even flaunt it. I hope that this wise and witty book will provide cures where they are possible, and warnings where they are necessary.

"It's also a lot of fun. I can guarantee that 100%."--Arthur C. Clarke

"Dewdney retells with charm and wit magnificent morsels of mathematical mayhem discovered by his army of volunteer 'abuse detectives.' From 'sample trashing' to 'numerical terrorism,' from 'percentage pumping' to 'dimensional dementia,' 200% of Nothing plumbs the depths of innumeracy in daily life and reveals what ordinary people can do about it.

A rich, readable, instructive, and persuasive book."--Lynn Arthur Steen, Professor of Mathematics, St. Olaf College

Review: If you know the difference between lies, damned lies, and statistics, give a copy of A.K. Dewdney's 200% of Nothing to your friends to get them up to speed. If you don't know the difference, consider this funny, engaging little book a crash course in numeracy, the mathematical equivalent of literacy. Opening with two chapters on the importance of this dying talent, Dewdney (formerly Scientific American's "Mathematical Recreations" writer) spooks the reader with real examples of government agencies, media outlets, and--of course--car salesmen deceiving their audiences with beguiling mathematical sleights of hand. It's all too easy for us to think we're immune to such tactics until we actually see them laid out for us in prose as clear and disarming as Dewdney's. From these tactics he delves more deeply into practical examples of particular problems that often catch us unaware. Gambling, advertisements using bizarre-but-normal-looking charts, and bad science all come in for thorough examinations, and the reader is amazed and occasionally angered at the shamelessness of the purveyors of misleading statistics. The book closes with two chapters designed to make readers "mathematically streetwise," with exercises to help you grasp ratios, very large and small numbers, and probabilities more intuitively. 200% of Nothing inspires learning and makes it interesting--if you want to see through the fog of numbers surrounding politicians and advertisements, there's no better place to start. --Rob Lightner

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Bibliographic Details

Title: 200% of Nothing: From 'Percentage Pumping' ...
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 1993
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition.

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Published by Wiley, New York (1993)
ISBN 10: 0471577766 ISBN 13: 9780471577768
Used Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Wiley, New York, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. First edition. Near fine Book shows light rubbing at top and bottom spine ends. Hardcover, no dustwrapper. Please Note: This book has been transferred to Between the Covers from another database and might not be described to our usual standards. Please inquire for more detailed condition information. Seller Inventory # 226339

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