Teachers are encouraged to use this draft as the basis for discussion about the role of quantitative literacy in education. Comments, critique, and reports of discussions are welcome and should be sent by e-mail to QL Comments. The world of the twenty-first century is a world awash in numbers. Headlines use quantitative measures to report increases in gasoline prices, changes in SAT scores, risks of dying from colon cancer, and numbers of refugees from the latest ethnic war. Advertisements use numbers to compete over costs of cell phone contracts and low interest car loans. Sports reporting abounds in team statistics and odds on forthcoming competitions.
Innumeracy on Apple Books
Innumeracy is an examination of some of the consequences in everyday life of mathematical illiteracy. These consequences - confused personal decisions, muddled governmental policies, even an increased susceptibility to pseudoscience - are not as visible as are those of illiteracy or general cultural ignorance. Unlike the latter failings, however, innumeracy often afflicts intelligent, well-educated people, the kind of people who can understand the most complicated of legal discussions, the most nuanced of emotional interchanges, but whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of a number or a probability. Topics addressed include stock scams, parapsychological claims, medical testing, insurance frauds, sports records, sex discrimination, coincidences and chance encounters. Our society would be unimaginably different if the average person truly understood the ideas in this marvelous and important book.
My Liberal Identity:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences is a book by mathematician John Allen Paulos about " innumeracy ," a term he embraced to describe the mathematical equivalent of illiteracy : incompetence with numbers rather than words. Innumeracy is a problem with many otherwise educated and knowledgeable people. While many people would be ashamed to admit they are illiterate, there is very little shame in saying "I'm a people person, not a numbers person. Paulos speaks mainly of the common misconceptions in regard to numbers.
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. 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.