Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World

Our World: Market Rebounds after Assurances from Fed Chair
Mathematically Literate World: Market Rebounds without Clear Causal Explanation

Our WorldFirm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Daring Strategy, Bold Leadership
Mathematically Literate WorldFirm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Good Luck, Selection Bias

Our WorldGas Prices Hit Record High (Unadjusted for Inflation)
Mathematically Literate WorldGas Prices Hit Record High (In a Vacuous, Meaningless Sense)

Our WorldPsychologists Tout Surprising New Findings
Mathematically Literate WorldPsychologists Promise to Replicate Surprising New Findings Before Touting Them

Our WorldAfter Switch in Standardized Tests, Scores Drop
Mathematically Literate WorldAfter Switch in Standardized Tests, Scores No Longer Directly Comparable

Our World: Controversial Program Would Cost $50 Million in Taxpayer Money
Mathematically Literate World: Controversial Program Would Cost 0.001% of Taxpayer Money

Our World: Proposal Would Tax $250,000-Earners at 40%
Mathematically Literate World: Proposal Would Tax $250,000-Earners’ Very Last Dollar, and That Dollar Alone, at 40%

Our World: Poll Finds 2016 Candidates Neck and Neck
Mathematically Literate World: Poll Finds 2016 Predictions Futile, Absurd

Our World: One Dead in Shark Attack; See Tips for Shark Safety Inside
Mathematically Literate World: One Dead in Tragic, Highly Unlikely Event; See Tips for Something Useful Inside

Our World: Local Heat Wave Seen as Sign of Global Warming
Mathematically Literate World: Local Heat Wave Not Seen as Meaningful Indicator of Global Trends

Our World: Veteran Baseball Player Enjoys Breakout Month
Mathematically Literate World: Veteran Baseball Player Enjoys Transient Good Fortune

Our World: Market Share for Electric Cars Triples
Mathematically Literate World: Market Share for Electric Cars Rises to 0.4%

Our World: Still No Broad Agreement on Global Warming
Mathematically Literate World: Still 90% Agreement on Global Warming

Our WorldRates of Cancer Approach Historic High
Mathematically Literate WorldRates of Surviving Long Enough to Develop Cancer Approach Historic High

Our World: Hollywood Breaks Box Office Records with Explosions, Rising Stars
Mathematically Literate World: Hollywood Breaks Box Office Records with Inflation, Rising Population

Our World: Economist: “Eliminate Minimum Wage to Create Jobs, Improve Economy”
Mathematically Literate World: Economist: “Eliminate Minimum Wage, then Pray Our Model Has Some Empirical Basis in Reality”

Our World: Average Football Player Earns $3 Million, Lasts 4 Years in NFL
Mathematically Literate World: Average Football Player Earns $0 Million, Lasts 4 Years in High School

Our World: Politician Promises to Fund Math Education
Mathematically Literate World: Politician Promises to Fund, Meddle in Math Education

Our World: Illegal Downloaders Would Have Spent $300 Million to Obtain Same Music Legally
Mathematically Literate World: Illegal Downloaders Probably Would Not Have Bothered to Obtain Same Music Legally

Our World: Unemployment Rate Jumps from 7.6% to 7.8%
Mathematically Literate World: Unemployment Rate Probably a Little Under 8%; Maybe Rising, or Not, Can’t Really Tell

19 -

Thanks for reading! (And thanks to readers who suggested improvements, some of which I’ve incorporated.) If you can tolerate my drawings (a big “if”), you might also enjoy A Math Professor Consults on a Hollywood Movie and the economic satire 20 Steps for Trading Up from a Paper Clip to a House.

You could also check out Fifty-Five Million, my new blog that aims to bring a math-literate perspective to education statistics. And I highly recommend Aaron Brown’s excellent critique of this post, delving more deeply into some key issues.

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204 thoughts on “Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World

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