- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (February 9, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471145742
- ISBN-13: 978-0471145745
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
200% of Nothing: An Eye-Opening Tour through the Twists and Turns of Math Abuse and Innumeracy
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
If you know the difference between lies, damned lies, and statistics, give a copy of A.K. Dewdney's 200% of Nothing to your friends to get them up to speed. If you don't know the difference, consider this funny, engaging little book a crash course in numeracy, the mathematical equivalent of literacy. Opening with two chapters on the importance of this dying talent, Dewdney (formerly Scientific American's "Mathematical Recreations" writer) spooks the reader with real examples of government agencies, media outlets, and--of course--car salesmen deceiving their audiences with beguiling mathematical sleights of hand. It's all too easy for us to think we're immune to such tactics until we actually see them laid out for us in prose as clear and disarming as Dewdney's. From these tactics he delves more deeply into practical examples of particular problems that often catch us unaware. Gambling, advertisements using bizarre-but-normal-looking charts, and bad science all come in for thorough examinations, and the reader is amazed and occasionally angered at the shamelessness of the purveyors of misleading statistics. The book closes with two chapters designed to make readers "mathematically streetwise," with exercises to help you grasp ratios, very large and small numbers, and probabilities more intuitively. 200% of Nothing inspires learning and makes it interesting--if you want to see through the fog of numbers surrounding politicians and advertisements, there's no better place to start. --Rob Lightner
From the Publisher
A revealing look at the variety of methods used by advertisers, politicians and corporations to mislead and manipulate the public by means of fancy mathematical footwork. A prominent mathematics author and columnist shows how this mathematical abuse is accomplished, how to recognize it and avoid it. Contains hundreds of actual examples of mathematical chicanery. The last chapter provides further explanations of the mathematics underlying the manipulators covered in each chapter.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As a result we think nothing of an ad promising that a new light bulb will save 200% on energy. If that statement sounds OK to you, then you better read this book or one like it.
Here's a slim tome that addresses some of the more egregious insults to the field of mathematics and statistics. If you are totally innumerate it will raise your numbers IQ a few points. It's an easy book to read; too easy, as a matter of fact, and that's a shame. The author provides very little theory, many, sometimes useless, anecdotes, and some soap box preaching about mathematics being the premiere science.
He does touch on the mathematics of probablity, a subject that most people should know more about. Anyone with a basic knowledge of probability quickly realizes that coincidences don't just happen, they MUST happen. That fact throws a wrench into a lot of "sciences of the paranormal." And remember, from a statistical standpoint your chance of winning the big lottery is no different whether you buy a ticket or don't buy it. Is there a way to improve your chances for winning big? Yes. Pick numbers that no one else picks like, 1,2,3,4,5,6. That way you run less of a chance of getting tied with someone.
There are other books out there that give you better information, but this one is OK if you want to learn a little applied math without having to turn your brain on at all.
1. A car ad asks "How can a car that's only 3/4 of a foot longer have two feet more room? Must be the new math." Dewdney goes into an exhaustive analysis under the assumption that "two feet more room" means two cubic feet, and demonstrates that this woefully underestimates the added space. He then interprets it as two linear feet of extra room, and dismisses this as totally impossible, since adding 3/4 of a foot can't possibly add two extra feet. Dewdney seems not to understand that "room" refers to space in the PASSENGER COMPARTMENT, and that cars have parts OTHER THAN THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT which can be shrunk -- such as the engine compartment and the trunk. Adding 2 linear feet to the passenger compartment is entirely feasible in a car only 3/4 of a foot longer, if you make the trunk and/or the engine compartment 1-1/4 foot shorter.
2. He mentions concerns about putting milk in transparent containers, due to flourescent lights allegedly damaging the nutrients. He dismisses this possibility out of hand by saying "They probably weren't aware that the little light in the refrigerator turns off when the door is closed." Cute, but it makes me wonder if Dewdney has ever gone to a supermarket in his life. The dairy displays in most supermarkets are closed behind glass doors and CONSTANTLY LIT, usually by fluorescent lights, so that shoppers can see the products on display.
I wish the book were more interesting. But, the presentation does not live up to the subject matter. Too bad! We need more light pouring into some of these dark corners of our world.
While the book is OK, it could be better.