A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

I recently finished reading an interesting book titled A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos. Published in 1995, the book employs simplified mathematical and statistical techniques in order to ascertain the validity of many statements published in the press. There are also numerous examples from the arena of health care reporting. For instance:…

Overtreated

“In its 1999 report To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine report estimated that as many as ninety-eight thousand Americans are killed each year by medical error. Another ninety thousand to four hundred thousand patients are harmed or killed by the incorrect use of a drug–they received the wrong drug, or the wrong dose…

A Random Walk

I just finished reading Burton Malkiel’s influential book A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Originally published in 1973, the book was one of the first to advocate for the creation of a “no-load, minimum-management-fee mutual fund that simply buys the hundreds of stocks making up the broad stock-market averages and does no trading from security…

The Fox in the Henhouse

“We want the protection the government provides, and we want freedom. Put those together, and what we really want is for our government, and the whole public sector, from firefighters to voluntary organizations, to be both responsible and responsive.” I recently finished reading the book The Fox in the Henhouse: How Privatization Threatens Democracy by…

Globalization and Sushi

For those who rant about the evils of globalization, let us examine the Sushi Economy. NPR’s Marketplace discusses The Sushi Economy book with its author Sasha Issenberg. Mr. Issenberg talks about how globalization has made the sushi industry a reality in the modern world. Technological improvements in travel and communication have lead to an increased…