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Does Mathematical Innumeracy foster superstitions and support the belief in them?

Topic closed. 122 replies. Last post 6 years ago by Delta Draw.

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Does Mathematical Innumeracy foster superstitions and support the belief in them?

Yes [ 9 ]  [45.00%]
No [ 11 ]  [55.00%]
Total Valid Votes [ 20 ]  
Discarded Votes [ 4 ]  

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Posted: May 21, 2011, 1:15 am - IP Logged

Just a friendly survey to find out what people think; those who have a grasp on mathematics and statistics.

DD

    RL-RANDOMLOGIC's avatar - usafce

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    Posted: May 21, 2011, 3:24 am - IP Logged

    Just a friendly survey to find out what people think; those who have a grasp on mathematics and statistics.

    DD

    DD

    You should have included [Sometimes] as a choice.  Even the mathematical literate take chances when

    they know better fostering some sort of superstiton such as luck, It's called being human.

    RL


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      Posted: May 21, 2011, 3:29 am - IP Logged

      (http://www.math.temple.edu/~paulos/books.html)

      INNUMERACY - MATHEMATICAL ILLITERACY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES , Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Hill and Wang division), 1989.

      -- INNUMERACY is an examination of some of the consequences in everyday life of mathematical illiteracy. These consequences - confused personal decisions, muddled governmental policies, even an increased susceptibility to pseudoscience - are not as visible as are those of illiteracy or general cultural ignorance. Unlike the latter failings, however, innumeracy often afflicts intelligent, well-educated people, the kind of people who can understand the most complicated of legal discussions, the most nuanced of emotional interchanges, but whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of a number or a probability. Topics addressed include stock scams, parapsychological claims, medical testing, insurance frauds, sports records, sex discrimination, coincidences and chance encounters.

      "To combat [innumeracy] John Allen Paulos has concocted the perfect vaccine: this book, which is in many ways better than an entire high school math education! Our society would be unimaginably different if the average person truly understood the ideas in this marvelous and important book. It is probably hopelessly optimistic to dream this way, but I hope that Innumeracy might help launch a revolution in math education that would do for innumeracy what Sabin and Salk did for polio." -- Douglas Hofstadter, author of Godel, Escher, and Bach

        RL-RANDOMLOGIC's avatar - usafce

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        Posted: May 21, 2011, 5:06 am - IP Logged

        Jimmy

        While I agree with the content I think that the reason that most don't seek to improve their math and science skills

        stems from a lack of interest in those fields as a form of employment.  I have a friend who is a mathematician and

        ever since he was in JR high all he was interested in was math.  While most kids his age played video games he

        played with a graphing calculator.  He had deficiencies in almost every aspect of social activity and had problems

        making conversation outside the realm of mathematics.  I know many people that would fall into the innumeracy

        catagory who possess abilities that are vital to our society as a whole.  Math is not the only lack within the US

        educational arena but I agree that most could benifit from taking a few courses at a local jr-college if for no other

        reason then to be better equipped for day to day functions.

        RL


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          Posted: May 21, 2011, 11:04 am - IP Logged

          Jimmy

          While I agree with the content I think that the reason that most don't seek to improve their math and science skills

          stems from a lack of interest in those fields as a form of employment.  I have a friend who is a mathematician and

          ever since he was in JR high all he was interested in was math.  While most kids his age played video games he

          played with a graphing calculator.  He had deficiencies in almost every aspect of social activity and had problems

          making conversation outside the realm of mathematics.  I know many people that would fall into the innumeracy

          catagory who possess abilities that are vital to our society as a whole.  Math is not the only lack within the US

          educational arena but I agree that most could benifit from taking a few courses at a local jr-college if for no other

          reason then to be better equipped for day to day functions.

          RL

          RL-RANDOMLOGIC,

          You said, "While I agree with the content I think that the reason that most don't seek to improve their math and science skills stems from a lack of interest in those fields as a form of employment."

          I disagree.  And I don't think you really believe this statement yourself.  Your post is a [not so well] veiled attempt to portray mathematicians as no more than eccentric geeks who's opinions should be disregarded.  Of course, I could be wrong here, and maybe you completely missed the point of Hofstadter's review, that otherwise intelligent people, due to innumeracy, are more prone to be victims of stock scams,  confused personal decisions, para-psychological claims, medical testing errors, insurance frauds, sex discrimination, and although not mentioned here, I might add, lottery system software peddlers.

          --Jimmy4164

            RL-RANDOMLOGIC's avatar - usafce

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            Posted: May 21, 2011, 4:10 pm - IP Logged

            RL-RANDOMLOGIC,

            You said, "While I agree with the content I think that the reason that most don't seek to improve their math and science skills stems from a lack of interest in those fields as a form of employment."

            I disagree.  And I don't think you really believe this statement yourself.  Your post is a [not so well] veiled attempt to portray mathematicians as no more than eccentric geeks who's opinions should be disregarded.  Of course, I could be wrong here, and maybe you completely missed the point of Hofstadter's review, that otherwise intelligent people, due to innumeracy, are more prone to be victims of stock scams,  confused personal decisions, para-psychological claims, medical testing errors, insurance frauds, sex discrimination, and although not mentioned here, I might add, lottery system software peddlers.

            --Jimmy4164

            Jimmy

            I was not saying that at all, I was just making an observation from more then one perspective.  Most people regardless of

            abilities are not necessarily immune.   I do belive the top statement to be correct and was mixing an eariler exchange with

            the one here.  My job use to take me to many different places where I met many different types of people with different

            interest.  Many seemed happy with their jobs and looked foward to the 50 cent raise every 6 months to reach top pay.

            This may seem odd to a person that receives $5000.00 to $15,000.00 salary increases with each step up the ladder.

            I could be wrong, just an observation. 

            RL

            PS. Even those with strong math skills can fall for many of the pitfalls mentioned above.  The problem may be more

            psychological then mathematical.

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              Honduras
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              Posted: May 21, 2011, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

              i believe in superstitions why 2 things for example of the many that make me believe in it is let us take gravity, how can you explain that something INVISIBLE that is not solid can HOLD things in place, sorry but i got to see a rope another example, the Aurora Borealis is unique in nature some force or atoms are in works in that that we dont know or dont understand fully....

              also if it was 100 people is fine but when you start hearing millions and hundreds of millions of people SAY THE SAME THING SINCE MANKINDS INCEPTION theres got to be something to it...

              also saw a documentary one time that the best renown mathematicians of older times including Issac Newton, many greeks were Astrologers and astrology is full of myth...is myth in many cases that keeps you going...

              there are many things about the brain not understood or known, many misteries in the brain, good example is asperber syndrome...how you know there is not a gene or switch in the brain that so often makes you see a different type of energy...you have to give it time..

              in 1320 nobody knew what a gene or DNA was...they saw blood and said: oh thats just a red liquid...

              The Forex trades: 1.6 Trillion dollars EVERY day, that´s more than the GDP of the Carribbean Central America, COMBINED. Enough to feed every crook out there for centuries...To all Geniuses & Powers Countries of the World the Planet needs breakthroughs in all Medicine, Veterinary, Biology related fields, Psychology, Population Psychology/Sociology..They need to genetically ingeneer new plants species/types to give more variety of plants and thus have more resources for combating diseases¨


               


               


               

               


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                Honduras
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                Posted: May 21, 2011, 4:41 pm - IP Logged

                i believe in superstitions why 2 things for example of the many that make me believe in it is let us take gravity, how can you explain that something INVISIBLE that is not solid can HOLD things in place, sorry but i got to see a rope another example, the Aurora Borealis is unique in nature some force or atoms are in works in that that we dont know or dont understand fully....

                also if it was 100 people is fine but when you start hearing millions and hundreds of millions of people SAY THE SAME THING SINCE MANKINDS INCEPTION theres got to be something to it...

                also saw a documentary one time that the best renown mathematicians of older times including Issac Newton, many greeks were Astrologers and astrology is full of myth...is myth in many cases that keeps you going...

                there are many things about the brain not understood or known, many misteries in the brain, good example is asperber syndrome...how you know there is not a gene or switch in the brain that so often makes you see a different type of energy...you have to give it time..

                in 1320 nobody knew what a gene or DNA was...they saw blood and said: oh thats just a red liquid...

                also in 1320 nobody knew what a bacteria was...if you was to carry a cell phone to the year 1320 what they will think it was...a car oh my gosh what is that..is that a horse...

                you took a laser to the year 1920 what they will think it is...a rod i dont know...

                thats why i said that experiments need to be repeted millions of times...in the many repetitions it might lead to an accident that could lead to another breakthrough or invention of a different kind...like it has happened in the past...

                there is a lot about the human cell that mankind doesnt know...example, why someone eats healthily as much as they like and someone eats all they like and the person who eats healthy passes away before the other person...it happens all the time...

                The Forex trades: 1.6 Trillion dollars EVERY day, that´s more than the GDP of the Carribbean Central America, COMBINED. Enough to feed every crook out there for centuries...To all Geniuses & Powers Countries of the World the Planet needs breakthroughs in all Medicine, Veterinary, Biology related fields, Psychology, Population Psychology/Sociology..They need to genetically ingeneer new plants species/types to give more variety of plants and thus have more resources for combating diseases¨


                 


                 


                 

                 


                  Boney526's avatar - NjlpLogo
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                  Posted: May 21, 2011, 5:01 pm - IP Logged

                  Just a friendly survey to find out what people think; those who have a grasp on mathematics and statistics.

                  DD

                  So if I understand your question, and I'm not postive I do, then the answer is generally yes.

                   

                  An example that has to do with lottery is that Mathemics can have effects on how we play a game like Pick 3, and people find these "magic" systems that can guarantee, say a 2 if 3 if singles come up.  But then people think about their odds as 1 in 8, which clearly isn't true, because they never thought about why they have that guarantee.  Using math, you can prove the formula to be true, but most people who haven't really thought about understanding WHY it's true beleieve they've risen their odds of winning, when really all they've done is give themselves a a better chance at something other than winning.

                   

                  I'm not sure if I interpreted your question right so I'll refrain from voting for now, or that I explained that clearly.

                   

                  I guess a simpler version of what I said is that people believe that "phony" systems can work magic because they can show mathemetical guarantees, and people will believe such systems help your odds of winning, when in reality, they don't.

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                    Honduras
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                    Posted: May 21, 2011, 5:17 pm - IP Logged

                    i love math but i dont think math has all the answers...it might i dont know...

                    something else that makes me think that myth or superstitions exist...there is something liquid and something solid, one is calmer than the other, the other is more turbulent, 1 you can go straight through it, the other you cant, one can co-exist with the other inside of it the other can not...1 evaporates the other doesnt...which makes me think that other forms of life can exists like spirit or superstitions...and there are different kinds of solids too...

                    The Forex trades: 1.6 Trillion dollars EVERY day, that´s more than the GDP of the Carribbean Central America, COMBINED. Enough to feed every crook out there for centuries...To all Geniuses & Powers Countries of the World the Planet needs breakthroughs in all Medicine, Veterinary, Biology related fields, Psychology, Population Psychology/Sociology..They need to genetically ingeneer new plants species/types to give more variety of plants and thus have more resources for combating diseases¨


                     


                     


                     

                     


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                      Posted: May 21, 2011, 6:32 pm - IP Logged

                      I agree with Pumpi


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                        Posted: May 21, 2011, 11:21 pm - IP Logged

                        I agree with Pumpi

                        ...which means your answer to the Poll Question was ? Yes / No ?

                          mayhem's avatar - 142g5yd
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                          Posted: May 22, 2011, 2:45 am - IP Logged

                          All the answers have math.

                          How you do anything is how you do everything.

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                            Posted: May 22, 2011, 6:18 am - IP Logged

                            Just a friendly survey to find out what people think; those who have a grasp on mathematics and statistics.

                            DD

                            There's a statistician posts here who's proved in countless ways that statisticians are conspicuously  superstitious to the point of inventing their own superstitions, while labelling everything outside the boundaries of statistics a superstition.  Probably they'd be less superstitious if they were, what's the word?  Innumerative? 

                            But I don't think that applies to regular people who just have a grasp on mathematics.  Regular people who have a grasp on mathematics generally only adopt superstitions they believe are based on facts of one sort or another.  Same as people who don't have a grasp on mathematics.

                            The universe rides along on math but it couldn't care less about statistics.  Statistics is just something dragging along behind the trailer hitch.


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                              Posted: May 22, 2011, 6:20 am - IP Logged

                              DD

                              You should have included [Sometimes] as a choice.  Even the mathematical literate take chances when

                              they know better fostering some sort of superstiton such as luck, It's called being human.

                              RL

                              RL,

                              You have somehow been able to use the words chance and luck together as a set in one sentence. This is a survey on Innumeracy, not illiteracy. Innumeracy and illiteracy are sometimes a human trait but so also is numeracy and literacy. So being human is neither good nor bad; it is how you process information between your ear wax plugs that counts. Your point is indeterminate.

                              In certain public games of chance, the player who uses a form of numeracy to their advantage is considered a cheat. At the
                              same time, all manner of media to promote the concept of luck is not considered as cheating and is an acceptable approach to a game. I think that balance could be viewed as a ‘sometimes’. A methodological approach to a game with a full understanding of the odds of chance is never promoted or encouraged.

                              Your Dunnig-Kruger effected mathematicians who use both models (chance and luck) for decision making cannot be disciplined in mathematics to be called Mathematicians.
                              Being able to use mathematics does not make one a mathematician with the exception to one’s relative skills to another. There is no ‘sometimes’ answer here, the answer is either true or false, one or zero; an absolute determinate.
                              Since this is an opinion poll, there is no wrong answer for as much as it confounds you, sometimes. BUT, if you have one or more studies from respectable
                              sources with numerical facts to back up such a big fat claim about the superstitions of mathematicians and how they switch hit, I would be glad to review the information from the link(s).

                              “Chance favors the prepared mind” is a famous quote of Louis Pasteur. He did not say luck because luck and chance are not the same to the prepared mind. They are not the same to the unprepared mind. They are not even in the same category. Not
                              even sometimes. That gray zone of lumping two different words to equal the same thing is a human trait too: Dunning- Kruger.

                              Vacillating on a decision is also called being human but the informed decisions always seem
                              to outperform uninformed decisions. Normal people evaluate the results from their decisions and make
                              corrections to make better decisions. Innumerics who cannot process information gravitate to superstition and there is no
                              correction to be made in that decision making process, except to try another equally stupid decision based on more bad information. The quick pick becomes a simplification to decision making that provides a chance on what is superstitiously
                              considered a fair distribution; your odds to win are 1:n. Are they?

                              The problem with the quick pick is that several winners have had the same winning numbers
                              for a draw that did not have sufficient sales to complete the sale of all combinations ONCE. If less than all the
                              combinations are sold for a draw as quick picks, there should be at the most, ONE winner at a jackpot level. The other losers did not buy a chance as advertised when there are two jackpot winners but are convinced that the QP is the right choice to beat the odds from example. What fails the innumeric is this: that if two tickets can be winners with less than all combinations
                              sold, then there can also be two losers for another two tickets of another identical combination. Those tickets do not represent an advertised 1:n chance. Not even sometimes. Only two have improved odds while the others have odds that are far worse than normal.

                              The only situation where less than all the combinations are sold as Quick Picks and there are two or more Jackpot winners (one being a QP) is where one winner has purchased a Quick pick and the other(s), Self Pick. The idea that QP’s can beat the odds is all about who’s odds you want to beat. Players think the odds are in their favor with multiple QP winners/low sales and chose a QP out of innumeracy thinking they have a better chance than another SP player. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

                              If the entire combination pool is not sold and repeat tickets are distributed as QP’s, then what are the odds?

                              Are they really in the game?
                              Sometimes. That is called being human also.

                              IMHO, 

                              DD