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A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos

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         Preface to the 2013 Paperback Edition

Obviously much has changed since I first wrote A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Nevertheless, the same solecisms, both mathematical and otherwise, continue to appear not only in newspapers but also on TV, in blogs, and on social media. I’ve often thought that pointing them out and detoxifying them is somewhat akin to picking up the trash, which must be done continuously or it piles up and begins to smell. Most of the issues discussed in the book—elections, medical tests, coincidences, crime, risk assessment, sports records, philosophical and psychological conundrums, and many others—are subject to solecisms that, indeed, have piled up. Happily, there are more mathematical trash collectors in ...

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