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Who's Doing The Math?

Long before a couple of bloggers were feeding us bs; journalists, advertisers, experts and politicians were doing a mighty fine job of feeding us innumerative bs. According to a recent survey (just kidding) conducted by Jay Leno with the "Jaywalkers" from this year's "Top Jaywalking Thinkers", they found that 51% of people make shit up, 105% are afraid to look dumb, 67% try too hard to impress others, and 39% believe that 41% of journalists have hemorrhoids from sitting on their asses. What's more, they all approve of the FDA's generic names for Viagra.

Updated LOL - Happy to see Stephen is aware of innumeracy.

Journalists don't know math, by Stephen Baker - BusinessWeek - "A good way to make friends in a newsroom is to confess that you once got a D in Algebra II. Suddenly you're surrounded by people saying, "Me too." Journalism is a safehouse for the mathematically challenged."

In the book, "A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper", John Allen Paulos writes about mathematical illiteracy. Although a lover of newspapers, he recognizes that they do not give us the truth in black or white. Whatever they tell us about health scares or racial quotas, voting patterns or DNA testing, this book argues that it is certain to be simplified. Chaos theory, for example, reveals why it is pointless to predict economic or environmental trends. This series of essays takes the reader through an imaginary newspaper - from politics and business to arts and sports - and looks at the ways in which we use math, roaming through such mathematical and scientific issues as probability, chaos theory, paradox, game theories and their bearing on our everyday existence.


Book review.

"Survey Says - Among the odds and ends in my inbox today, I found some results of a survey of 200 of the "top interactive thinkers" from this year's South by SouthWest Interactive Festival. The SXSW Festival's pr people said the respondents were... " [Business Week]


"So, 42% said they believe that blogging has forced mainstream media to do a better job of reporting. And 62% of those polled believe that bloggers should not be held to the same standards of accuracy and ethics as journalists."

From Dan Gillmore, "Blog Commentator to TV News Show: Bye, Bye".

...and your thoughts are?