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Tiger That Isnt by Michael Blastland
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Tiger That Isnt (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Michael Blastland (Author)

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1969102,011 (3.56)3
A painless introduction to the maths of the real world by the team who created and present the hugely popular BBC Radio 4 series More or Less.
Member:Jackie_K
Title:Tiger That Isnt
Authors:Michael Blastland (Author)
Info:Profile Books Ltd (2008), Edition: Main, 196 pages
Collections:ROOT 2020 / Category Challenge 2020, Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:non-fiction, statistics

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The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers by Michael Blastland (2007)

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English (8)  Dutch (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
All you need to know about numbers, counting things and how they are (mis)used by the papers and the news. Revealing, fascinating and incredibly useful read. ( )
  twosheds | Feb 26, 2014 |
Lovely book about practical understanding of statistics. ( )
  mari_reads | Mar 26, 2011 |
An essential guide to numerate thinking and how the media allow politicians and ad-men to con us. It covers the same ground as the BBC Radio 4 programme "More or Less" that was created by the authors. Reading it all at once is a bit like listening to a whole series of podcasts one after another, so you may prefer reading a chapter a week. If you like the radio programme, you'll enjoy the book. ( )
  Thruston | Aug 29, 2010 |
Preaching to the converted. Only those already interested in the manipulation of numbers especially in the media are likely to read this - and for those this is very much an entry level popular guide containing nothing new, and no detail.

However if you are vaguely curious abou thte various numbers that get bandied about in the media and haven't yet aquired the maths/logical skills to appreciate them in context then this may well be the book for you.

A few different (but all very easy not involving any formal maths) techniques are described for the process of determining if a reported number maks sense. The first technicque is simply to ask 'is that a big number' in context. 300 million sounds a lot, and for a 1 person lottery win it certainly is. For a national healthcare improvement it is not.

And this is where the book falls down. Because it assumes a level of numeracy that I think is unwarrented. How many people live in your country? Can you divide 1 number by that many? in your head whilst reading a enws story? If you can I suspect you already know to do so, and if you can't then telling you do so doesn't help. The other issue is that all of the conclusions to the examples (such as 300 million not being large for a health care budget) are unsupported. There are no references for any item, so although the authors conclude that this number which sounds large, isn't, you don't know how they reached that conclusion. Which is precisely what this book is trying to avoid. References would have helped.

Several of the techniques seem very similar and repeat information given elsewhere. Perhaps this is just the nature of such a book which grew out of a radio series, but it is annoying.

That said, it's very readable, in an easily understandable prose. the complete absense of formal sums will appeal to many lay reader (although the requirement to do basic mental arithmatic may put as many off). The chapter on Risk i particularly illuminating, as it's one that so many media outlets seem incapable of reporting or understanding properly. In place of the detailed references there is a comprehensive list of further reading material, including the seminal Huff's How to Li wih Statistics which should be require reading for everone.

]Ultimately thisbook would be of most use to journlists - forbidden from publishing anything that deviates from these simple precepts. But as that seem unlikely to happen, the best we can do is educate ourselves and read this book, or others like it. ( )
  reading_fox | Apr 26, 2010 |
This book says it does not want to teach you peculiar facts that you did not know already, but make you more aware about how numbers are used. This is also its weakness: you do not get any wiser, you are just told not to be so stupid. (No, sorry, that is probably not a reasonable critique).
I will highly recommend it to journalists and politicians, who will learn a lot about how to use and present numbers, so that they inform instead of create good (but false) stories.
It is also the perfect book about numbers for someone who would never (never!) read a book about numbers. For the rest of us, it is a mildly interesting book. ( )
  sharder | Dec 13, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Blastlandprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dilnot, Andrewmain authorall editionsconfirmed
González de Rivera, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A painless introduction to the maths of the real world by the team who created and present the hugely popular BBC Radio 4 series More or Less.

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