How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg


Mathematics is the study of things that come out a certain way because there is no other way they could possibly be .

Math is like an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength .

All this sweat and tumult is carefully screened off in your textbook .

Laffer curve

Which way you should go depends on where you are .

I can guarantee you Einstein did not go around telling people, “Look, I know this theory of general relativity sounds wacky, but that’s what they said about Galileo ! ” )

But to most people, it’s not at all obvious—at least, not until you see the picture on the napkin . Laffer understood perfectly well that his curve didn’t have the power to tell you whether or not any given economy at any given time was overtaxed or not .



Diogenes the Cynic

linear regression,

At a math dinner party it’s okay to bring up politics or religion, but start an argument about math pedagogy and it’s likely to end with somebody storming out in either a traditionalist or reformist huff .

no ideas but in things .

I think we have to teach a mathematics that values precise answers but also intelligent approximation,