Sunday, September 19, 2010

Proofiness, Numerical Mendacity, and Civics

What has Stephen Colbert wrought....

NY Times favorable review (from Steven Strogatz) of Charles Seife's latest book, "Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception":

(promoted as a book about "the art of using pure mathematics for impure ends")

Strogatz concludes thusly, "For the most part, though, he [Seife] is deadly serious. A few other recent books have explored how easily we can be deceived — or deceive ourselves — with numbers. But “Proofiness” reveals the truly corrosive effects on a society awash in numerical mendacity. This is more than a math book; it’s an eye-opening civics lesson."

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