Bad Maths

We live in an era of technological advancement. Whether it’s genomics, nanotechnology or software algorithms, the world is driven by mathematical solutions to complex problems.

Yet at the same time, we are surrounded by what I like to call Bad Math. It seems as if the average person has little familiarity with the fundamental workings of mathematics. Statistical errors are rife. Even the classic error of confusing correlation with causation seems to be impossible to vanquish.

Some of the blame for this lays in our education system. We teach by rote, instead of explaining critical reasoning and analysis. Instead of teaching children what to think, we should be teaching them how to think. It is a fundamental failure of our education system.

Which brings us to today’s subject.

As you might imagine from a review of any of our morning reads, I plow through a lot of media, much of it good, some of it excellent. What you don’t see linked are the poorly reasoned, statistically amateurish, logically defective articles that don’t make the cut. Too many writers seem to have a dominant right hemisphere. While that may be great for creativity and language skills, it means they are deficient in logic, numbers and analysis.

Perhaps a few examples might help to explain my ire.


Continues here




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