Monday, October 3, 2011

Proofiness by Charles Seife **

Proofiness by Charles is a goofy, hyperbolic book about other people using math in goofy and hyperbolic ways. Think of as a meta snake oil about the sale of snake oil.

Much of the book is a rehash of old stories about Vietnam War statistics, gerrymandering, interpolation of the census, the Bush-Dole election, capital punishment and other predominantly liberal issues. If you haven't followed these issues from a quantitative point of view, you might find this interesting.

I found the detailed analysis of the Franken election in Minnesota fun reading. I was even able to get past the author's love of cutesy invented vocabulary such as proofiness, fruit packing, and Potemkin numbers.

I found the book more goofy than proofy, but since so much was redundant, it was a very fast read.

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