How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Jordan Ellenberg / Apr 22, 2019

How Not to Be Wrong The Power of Mathematical Thinking The Freakonomics of math a math world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules laid down

  • Title: How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking
  • Author: Jordan Ellenberg
  • ISBN: 9781594205224
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Freakonomics of math a math world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is Math isn t confined to abstract incidents thatThe Freakonomics of math a math world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our handsThe math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is Math isn t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do the whole world is shot through with it.Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world It s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted How early should you get to the airport What does public opinion really represent Why do tall parents have shorter children Who really won Florida in 2000 And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many , using the mathematician s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard won insights of the academic community to the layman minus the jargon Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can t figure out about you, and the existence of God.Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need Math, as Ellenberg says, is an atomic powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, meaningful way How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

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    • Ï How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking || ☆ PDF Download by ↠ Jordan Ellenberg
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    About "Jordan Ellenberg"

      • Jordan Ellenberg

        Jordan Ellenberg Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking book, this is one of the most wanted Jordan Ellenberg author readers around the world.


    1. Here's the deal. If you're a social scientist or a physical scientist (me) who works outside the world of controlled laboratory data, you have to make sense of the world with imperfect experiments. You often have limited data, you can't repeat your experiments, and the differences between your subject and control are sometimes very fuzzy. Yet you have to try to make some inferences even though imperfect data are all you have. How do you do that in an honest and careful way? That's what How Not T [...]

    2. This is a wonderful book about mathematics and its application to everyday life. Jordan Ellenberg shows that the certainty that people associate with math is often misplaced; some areas of math are devoted to uncertainty, and that's where things get very interesting.Ellenberg starts the book with a beautiful example of application of mathematics, logic, and thinking out of the box. During World War II, a group of mathematicians working for the Statistical Research Group were given a problem by s [...]

    3. I math for a living. I mathed, both amateurly and professionally, at school. I math quite a bit. And as a math teacher, I like reading "pop math" books that try to do for math what many science writers have done for science. So picking up How Not to Be Wrong was a no-brainer when I saw it on that bookstore shelf. I’ve read and enjoyed some of Jordan Ellenberg’s columns on Slate and elsewhere (some of them appear or are adapted as chapters of this book). And he doesn’t disappoint.I should m [...]

    4. I so wanted to like this book.It's a topic I enjoy. I flicked through the book and the author was saying things that I agree with. Jordan clearly knows what he is talking about. All the signs were good.So why the 3 stars? Because the book is unfortunately quite dull. There are long sections where Jordan spends ages proving some mathematical point or other, but then he doesn't draw any conclusions from it.He starts with a story about school kids not liking mathematics because they can't see the r [...]

    5. This book was an excellent guide to the many ways in which our intuitions and poorly understood statistical training can lead us astray. One of the areas that it covers is regression to the mean, a concept which pretty much everyone needs to be aware of, since a better awareness of its ubiquity would prevent a lot of errors. Among other things, this concept explains why a successful pilot study is likely to give worse results when rolled out, why a good performance is often followed by a worse p [...]

    6. หนังสือเกี่ยวกับคณิตศาสตร์และหลักสถิติเบื้องต้นที่ดีที่สุดเล่มหนึ่งที่เคยอ่าน อธิบายด้วยภาษาที่เข้าใจง่าย ตัวอย่างน่าสนใจ แถมคนเขียนยังมีลีลาแพรวพราว เชื่อมโยงต่อจุดเรื่ [...]

    7. Having come back to math in my late twenties, this book was comforting and gave me hope that learning the equations and complicated language would not be for nothing. It's also a lot of fun to read.

    8. Enjoyable, entry-level book, particularly recommended to any lover of applied maths who did not get prior significant exposure to the main concepts of statistics and probability calculus.The author writes in a very engaging and conversational manner, and his enthusiasm for maths is quite contagious; I like how he manages to compellingly convey the message that math is a creative process, not a sterile, procedural slog.While the book is designed to be understood by a wide audience, so it is neces [...]

    9. Where language and math meet is where my head explodes.That's this book.Fortunately, the author has a funny, down-to-earth style that keeps me going even when my eyes glaze over and start to roll back into my head. That has nothing to do with him; it's all me. He and I have a fundamental difference in wiring: he loves numbers and the things they can do. For him they sing. For me, they are instruments of torment and deceit. Let me give you an example. Here's one from page 44 et seq where he demon [...]

    10. Almost everything that we do these days has some sort of mathematical element to it, from analysis by companies that are looking for patterns, voting, the stock market and ways of winning the lottery.Ellenberg does make some reasonable arguments; I particularly liked the explanations on the three way voting where the favoured guy can end up being eliminated purely because of the first past the post method, and the way that groups were able to exploit a badly designed lottery. And most of the tim [...]

    11. Uma Deusa por Defeito e FeitioEmbora invisível, a Matemática encontra-se em quase tudo. É a melhor aproximação (por defeito) de Deus que conheço!;)

    12. Makes a good case for the real world of advantages of having a mathematical understanding and how to work with math concepts. The author argues that math is a very strong version of common sense reasoning which can keep a person sharp and savvy in a complex world.

    13. I am one of those fortunate individuals who cherishes and loves Mathematics, in all its forms. But, I know, a lot of people for whom the Maths is a dreaded specter.Why is that so? Inevitably, this is a problem that arises from the way the subject has been taught. And this is what the book tries to dispel. This book takes us behind the numbers, equations, theories and abstruse concepts to show the practical applications of whatever we have been taught. Along the way, the history of these various [...]

    14. The press for this book seems a little overblown. It is decidedly not the "freakonomics of mathematics." Rather than hitting a plethora of topics, like Innumeracy and other popular books have done, Ellenberg homes in on just a few: linearity (consider: most trend lines are Laffer curves, not straight lines); inference (consider: an FBI algorithm determines that you are probably a terrorist; what are the odds that you are a terrorist? very very low; false positives almost always vastly outnumber [...]

    15. This is one of the pioneering books on mathematical thinking and on how you can use it in your daily lives. Brings out extremely beautiful arguments on relatively abstruse topics including probability, correlation and predictive analytics. A must read for all.

    16. It's pretty awesome trying to cram more books as the year is about to end and come across some excellent books like this one. I sincerely wish I had read it/the book had been born earlier. Most of what Ellenberg discussed I have already familiarized myself with, unfortunately, and yet his writing is still so charming that I do not want to put the book down. He stays true to his words, writing simple yet "profound" ideas and their applications, not an easy task as I have so often observed books s [...]

    17. This book won't appeal to everyone. I just had to get that out of the way. I really enjoyed it, but not everyone will.Do you like math? Do you want to see math applied to random every day things? Then you are the audience for this book.I really enjoyed geeking out about the underlying math in all sorts of things. You can use math to decide when to buy a lottery ticket. (The answer is almost always never. But there are exceptions.) You can use math to see how hot a basketball player is. You can e [...]

    18. My attempts to reconnect with mathematical concepts I had forgotten (or honestly never knew in the first place) led me to this clever book. How Not to Be Wrong is an accurate title. It doesn't assume you're never going to be wrong, but there are certain ways not to be. It centers mostly around the concept of non-linear thinking and how methodology can determine our impression of statistics. Though I'll need extra time to comprehend some points, Ellenberg's writing is very inviting and even when [...]

    19. This book is just wonderful; funny, insightful, incredibly smart. Jordan Ellenberg lays out the ways people attempt to use math to make things seem simpler than they are, and shows many instances where math is much simpler than you might think. Even the chapter titles are engaging and memorable, like "what to expect when you're expecting to win the lottery" or "Are you there, God? It's me, Bayesian inference." If you're not certain if it's the sort of thing you'd like, try reading his article fo [...]

    20. I'm definitely someone very interested in math -- I have a BA in math and I'm pursuing a Master's in Analytics. However, this book got a bit too abstract even for me. I was hoping for more examples of applied mathematics, and while this book definitely had that, there were often theoretical/abstract/historical asides that seemed distracting. I also think there was too much information about mathematicians that wasn't needed; it just detracted from the examples and things got muddled. I would hav [...]

    21. My son, who is planning to major in math, gave me this book to read. Needless to say, I didn’t quite breeze through it as quickly as he did, but nevertheless greatly enjoyed it, even though I didn’t totally understand every last detail. The reason it was so enjoyable: First, the subject matter. As promised, the book shows us how math touches everything we do, with a ton of real-world examples where one might not even suspect math played a role. We get to look at such varied topics as where o [...]

    22. While math parts of this book were OK and sometimes even pretty good it has many issues.We spend too much time on that lottery example and mostly on parts that are not related to math (why didn't state stopped lottery? If it has nothing to do with differential equations or something like that why would we care?)But most noticible is the one that you can find in many bad popular science books written in US. Basicly it goes like this "Some math stuff or physics or whatever and then Hey! Democrats [...]

    23. Сильна книжка, не потрібно мати глибоких знань з математики щоб її зрозуміти. Не все очевидне стає очевидним, поки ти сам не дізнаєшся що це очевидне! Коли відкинете неможливе, то те, що залишиться, хай яке воно неймовірне, і буде правдою! Не дивно що математика королева всіх [...]

    24. In the preface to Jordan Ellenberg's chunky maths book (441 pages before the notes in the version I read) we are introduced to a hypothetical student moaning about having to work through a series of definite integrals and complaining 'When am I going to use this?' What Ellenberg sets out do is to show how we use mathematics all the time - and how important it is to understand it if we are not to get the wrong idea about the world. We'll see how well he does.It was very interesting to read this b [...]

    25. I really enjoyed this book. It felt disjointed at times but Ellenberg has an impressive ability to string those various pieces together to make a fun, engaging, and profound point. Made me want to read other works by him and writers he cited. Highly recommended.Some favorite quotes below:“If you go to the recovery room at the hospital, you’ll see a lot more people with bullet holes in their legs than people with bullet holes in their chest. But that’s not because people don’t get shot in [...]

    26. The item that attracted me to this book is the chapter one discussion of a comment on Obamacare by the Cato institute that says Sweden is backing off on the benefits and high taxes of their healthcare system so why would the U.S. duplicate their mistakes? The author then constructs a graph, a view of the world from the perspective of the conservative Cato Institute. It shows "Swedishness" along the horizontal axis and "prosperity" along the vertical axis. The line thereon is straight, going from [...]

    27. While it was a but mathier than I expected in parts, this was an entertaining and approachable introduction to a wide variety of real-world applications of math. I'm not sure how much will stick in my tiny brain, but it certainly influences the way I'll think about probability, expected value, electoral systems, results of scientific studies, how to teach math, and several other topics.Bonus: it's peppered with fantastic anecdotes of adventures (and misadventures) in math."Every time you observe [...]

    28. Nota: questo libro è anche disponibile in italiano (I numeri non sbagliano mai, tradotto per Ponte alle Grazie da Carlo Capararo) ma io ho letto la versione originale.Tecnicamente questo libro parla della teoria della probabilità. A volte ci sono anche dimostrazioni, pur con parecchio handwaving, come nel caso del calcolo della percentuale di successo del lancio dell'ago di Buffon - non perdetevela, è fantastica. Ma definirlo così è davvero riduttivo. Ellenberg è infatti riuscito a fare un [...]

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