Introduction

This is not another book about “damned lies and statistics.” That evergreen topic has inspired masterworks from Darrell Huff, John Allen Paulos, Ed Tufte, and Howard Wainer, among others. From the manipulative politician to the blundering analyst, from the amateur economist to the hard-selling advertiser, we have endless examples of what can go wrong when numbers are misused. Cherry-picking, oversimplifying, obfuscating—we have seen them all. This book takes a different direction, a positive position: I am interested in what happens when things go right, which is to say, what happens when numbers don’t lie.

The More We Know We Don’t Know

What will we learn from Bernie Madoff, the New York–based fund manager–swindler who impoverished ...

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