Like it or not, our lives are dominated by mathematics. Our daily diet of news regales us with statistical forecasts, opinion polls, risk assessments, inflation figures, weather and climate predictions and all sorts of political decisions and advice backed up by supposedly accurate numbers.
Most of us do not even pause and question such figures even to ask what they really mean and whether they raise more questions than they answer. We let the figures wash over us with no more than a glance. In this simple guide for anyone numbed by numbers, William Hartston explains with clarity and humour how to steer a safe path through the minefield of mathematics that surrounds us.
Country of Publication:
01 December 2020
Professional and scholarly
1: The Number of Our Days 2: Surveying the Scene 3: Risk and Behaviour 4: The Mathematics of Sport 5: Saved You! 6: Numbers Large and Small 7: The Insignificance of Significance 8: Cause and Effect 9: Percentages and More Misleading Mathematics 10: Chaotic Butterflies 11: Torpedoes, Toilets and True Love 12: Formula Milking 13: Monkey Maths 14: Pandemic Pandemonium
William Hartston is a Cambridge-educated mathematician and industrial psychologist. Between 1962 and 1987 he played chess competitively, becoming an international master and winning the British chess championship in 1973 and 1975. He runs competitions in creative thinking at the annual Mind Sports Olympiad, writes the off-beat Beachcomber column for the Daily Express, where he is also the opera critic, and is the author of several books on chess, numbers, humour and trivia, including The Things That Nobody Knows and Even More Things That Nobody Knows.
Reviews for Numb and Number: How to Avoid Being Mystified by the Mathematics of Modern Life
Discovering the many undiscovered things that one thought had been discovered already is one of the joys of this book... You might have thought that wallowing in ignorance is a tedious and fruitless occupation. As Hartston proves entertainingly, how wrong you would be. * Daily Express on The Things That Nobody Knows * Properly researched, and the elegance of its pop-cosmology or pop-biology mini-narratives rivals that of many specialists. It is slyly witty, and pleasingly optimistic. * Steven Poole, Guardian on The Things That Nobody Knows * Each mystery is delightfully penned in bite-sized chunks that often includes humorous repertoire... highly enjoyable... Captivating and inspiring. * New Scientist on The Things That Nobody Knows *