O'Reilly logo

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Iraqi Death Toll Unknown

Benchmark Figures in War, Crisis, and the Economy

News stories are often bereft of the numbers that would enable a reader to put them in perspective. This is particularly true in times of war when perspective is in short supply.

I recall, for example, various estimates of the number of Iraqi military casualties during the Gulf War. Under vague headlines there appeared dispatches with few numbers and scant analysis. Little effort was expended to come up with the casualty figures, but most present estimates range between 40,000 and 80,000 Iraqi soldiers killed and an indeterminate number wounded. One needn’t (and I don’t) feel any sympathy for Saddam Hussein or his thuggish Baathist regime to be shocked by these numbers. ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required