rvenkat + via:zeynep + dmce   3

Kernighan, B.: Millions, Billions, Zillions: Defending Yourself in a World of Too Many Numbers (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
Numbers are often intimidating, confusing, and even deliberately deceptive—especially when they are really big. The media loves to report on millions, billions, and trillions, but frequently makes basic mistakes or presents such numbers in misleading ways. And misunderstanding numbers can have serious consequences, since they can deceive us in many of our most important decisions, including how to vote, what to buy, and whether to make a financial investment. In this short, accessible, enlightening, and entertaining book, leading computer scientist Brian Kernighan teaches anyone—even diehard math-phobes—how to demystify the numbers that assault us every day.

With examples drawn from a rich variety of sources, including journalism, advertising, and politics, Kernighan demonstrates how numbers can mislead and misrepresent. In chapters covering big numbers, units, dimensions, and more, he lays bare everything from deceptive graphs to speciously precise numbers. And he shows how anyone—using a few basic ideas and lots of shortcuts—can easily learn to recognize common mistakes, determine whether numbers are credible, and make their own sensible estimates when needed.

Giving you the simple tools you need to avoid being fooled by dubious numbers, Millions, Billions, Zillions is an essential survival guide for a world drowning in big—and often bad—data.
book  numeracy  communication  education  via:zeynep  cognitive_science  mathematics  heuristics  dmce  teaching 
25 days ago by rvenkat
Social media and political discussion: when online presence silences offline conversation: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 20, No 7
This paper explores the relationship between the use of social media, attitudinal strength, perceived opinion agreement with social ties, and willingness to discuss a political issue in different online and offline contexts. Unlike the anonymous environment of some Internet forums, social media are closely tied to the relationships and activities of everyday life. Social media increasingly make ties from offline contexts persistent online, and, because of the ambient nature of these technologies, awareness of the opinions, interests, and activities of social ties has become pervasive. As such, the use of social media is likely to affect everyday conversation about political issues in on- and offline contexts, including the home, workplace, social gatherings with friends, community meetings, and on social network sites (SNSs). Based on a national probability survey, we find that the use of SNSs (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) has a direct, negative relationship to deliberation in many offline settings. Some uses of these platforms are associated with having a lower, perceived opinion agreement with social ties. As part of a spiral of silence, this further reduces the willingness of social media users to join political conversations in some offline settings. Only those with the strongest attitudes on an issue are immune.
media_studies  social_media  social_networks  networked_life  opinion_formation  collective_action  political_psychology  social_movements  dmce  teaching  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: