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A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos

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Section 2

LOCAL, BUSINESS, AND SOCIAL ISSUES

This book presents what all the people in the world are doing, at the same time, in the course of one minute.

–STANISLAW LEM

Although the grouping together of news articles can be somewhat arbitrary, many newspapers commonly carry local and business news as well as stories on social issues in their second sections. Thus the segments in this section deal with questions like the following: Are statistical disparities sure signs of racism? Is the SAT predictive of college success? Are abortion opponents susceptible to a reductio ad absurdum argument? And what about guns, cars, and the converging death rates resulting from each? Why should defense lawyers stress the difference between a conditional statement ...

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