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The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life

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The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life Cover

ISBN13: 9781592404230
ISBN10: 1592404235
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Strunk & White of statistics team up to help the average person navigate the numbers in the news.

Drawing on their hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show More or Less, journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, amuse, and convert American mathphobes by showing how our everyday experiences make sense of numbers.

The radical premise of The Numbers Game is to show how much we already know, and give practical ways to use our knowledge to become cannier consumers of the media. In each concise chapter, the authors take on a different theme — such as size, chance, averages, targets, risk, measurement, and data — and present it as a memorable and entertaining story.

If you've ever wondered what "average" really means, whether the scare stories about cancer risk should convince you to change your behavior, or whether a story you read in the paper is biased (and how), you need this book. Blastland and Dilnot show how to survive and thrive on the torrent of numbers that pours through everyday life. It's the essential guide to every cause you love or hate, and every issue you follow, in the language everyone uses.

Review:

"Americans are assaulted by numbers, whether it's the latest political poll or most recent clinical study on caffeine. But what do these numbers really mean and are they communicating a categorical truth? Blastland and Dilnot, from the BBC radio show More or Less, embark on a monumental task of interpreting numerical data and showing how its misinterpretation often leads to misinformation. 'It is one thing to measure,' they write, 'quite another to wrench the numbers to a false conclusion.' The authors take a close look at statistics that are accepted at face value — many stemming from scientific or medical discoveries. They examine everything from the link between alcohol and breast cancer risk to baseball batting averages to fascinating assessments of the manipulation of data by politicians when they talk taxes or the cautionary tale of a U.K. educational measurement program designed much like No Child Left Behind. Blastland and Dilnot apply their famously cheeky approach to the analysis of how people are duped, frightened or falsely encouraged by data." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The Strunk and White of statistics team up to help the average person navigate the numbers in the news

Drawing on their hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show More or Less, journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, amuse, and convert American mathphobes by showing how our everyday experiences make sense of numbers.

The radical premise of The Numbers Game is to show how much we already know and give practical ways to use our knowledge to become cannier consumers of the media. If you've ever wondered what "average" really means, whether the scare stories about cancer risk should convince you to change your behavior, or whether a story you read in the paper is biased (and how), you need this book. Blastland and Dilnot show how to survive and thrive on the torrent of numbers that pours through everyday life.

About the Author

Michael Blastland is a writer, broadcaster, and the creator of More or Less, the BBC Radio 4 show.

Andrew Dilnot, the former presenter on the show, is the principal of St. Hugh's College, Oxford, and was the director of England's Institute for Fiscal Studies.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

maheshwar, December 28, 2008 (view all comments by maheshwar)


It's quality that counts and not number only, though it might entertain you.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
terry.l.chopin, December 22, 2008 (view all comments by terry.l.chopin)
Heard the review on NPR this a.m., and nearly drove off the rode while I made myself a note to look it up once I got to work. Sounds fascinating! A great way for us "unscientific" types to picture the mega-numbers: millions, billions, and trillions--by using measures with which we are familiar. Like seconds, minutes, and hours. It sounds both educational and entertaining.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781592404230
Subtitle:
The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News,in Politics, and inLife
Author:
Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot
Author:
Dilnot, Andrew
Author:
Blastland, Michael
Publisher:
Gotham
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
General
Subject:
Mathematics
Subject:
Statistics
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20081226
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.30x5.20x1.10 in. .70 lbs.
Age Level:
13-13

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Journalism » General

The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Gotham Books - English 9781592404230 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Americans are assaulted by numbers, whether it's the latest political poll or most recent clinical study on caffeine. But what do these numbers really mean and are they communicating a categorical truth? Blastland and Dilnot, from the BBC radio show More or Less, embark on a monumental task of interpreting numerical data and showing how its misinterpretation often leads to misinformation. 'It is one thing to measure,' they write, 'quite another to wrench the numbers to a false conclusion.' The authors take a close look at statistics that are accepted at face value — many stemming from scientific or medical discoveries. They examine everything from the link between alcohol and breast cancer risk to baseball batting averages to fascinating assessments of the manipulation of data by politicians when they talk taxes or the cautionary tale of a U.K. educational measurement program designed much like No Child Left Behind. Blastland and Dilnot apply their famously cheeky approach to the analysis of how people are duped, frightened or falsely encouraged by data." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
The Strunk and White of statistics team up to help the average person navigate the numbers in the news

Drawing on their hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show More or Less, journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, amuse, and convert American mathphobes by showing how our everyday experiences make sense of numbers.

The radical premise of The Numbers Game is to show how much we already know and give practical ways to use our knowledge to become cannier consumers of the media. If you've ever wondered what "average" really means, whether the scare stories about cancer risk should convince you to change your behavior, or whether a story you read in the paper is biased (and how), you need this book. Blastland and Dilnot show how to survive and thrive on the torrent of numbers that pours through everyday life.

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