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Proofiness

How You're Being Fooled by the Numbers

Charles Seife - Author

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ISBN 9781101443507 | 320 pages | 23 Sep 2010 | Penguin | 18 - AND UP
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Summary of Proofiness Summary of Proofiness Reviews for Proofiness An Excerpt from Proofiness

From the author of Zero, comes this "admirable salvo against quantitative bamboozlement by the media and the government" (The Boston Globe)

In Zero, Charles Seife presented readers with a thrilling account of the strangest number known to humankind. Now he shows readers how the power of skewed metrics-or "proofiness"- is being used to alter perception in both amusing and dangerous ways. Proofiness is behind such bizarre stories as a mathematical formula for the perfect butt and sprinters who can run faster than the speed of sound. But proofiness also has a dark side: bogus mathematical formulas used to undermine our democracy-subverting our justice system, fixing elections, and swaying public opinion with lies. By doing the real math, Seife elegantly and good-humoredly scrutinizes our growing obsession with metrics while exposing those who misuse them.



Introduction: Proofiness

1 Phony Facts, Phony Figures

2 Rorschach’s Demon

3 Risky Business

4 Poll Cats

5 Electile Dysfunction

6 An Unfair Vote

7 Alternate Realities

8 Propaganda by the Numbers


Acknowledgments
Appendix A: Statistical Error
Appendix B: Electronic Voting
Appendix C: The Prosecutor’s Fallacy
Notes
Bibliography
Index


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