Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World

Ben Orlin at Math with Bad Drawings studied both math and psychology, so it only makes sense that he would look at sensationalist headlines with a jaundiced eye. He published a collection of typical headlines that would be oh-so-mundane if they came with a better understanding of statistics and how data can be manipulated to say whatever you want. And as advertised, they come with a series of bad drawings hand-drawn illustrations. Here's a sampling:

Our World: Illegal Downloaders Would Have Spent $300 Million to Obtain Same Music Legally
Mathematically Literate World: Illegal Downloaders Would Never Have Bothered to Obtain Same Music Legally

Our World: Controversial Program Would Cost $50 Million in Taxpayer Money
Mathematically Literate World: Controversial Program Would Cost 0.0001% of Taxpayer Money

Our World: Proposal Would Tax $250,000-Earners at 40%
Mathematically Literate World: Proposal Would Tax $250,000-Earners’ Very Last Dollar, and That Dollar Alone, at 40%

Our World: Rates of Cancer Approach Historic High
Mathematically Literate World: Rates of Surviving Long Enough to Develop Cancer Approach Historic High

Our World: Hollywood Breaks Box Office Records with Explosions, Rising Stars
Mathematically Literate World: Hollywood Breaks Box Office Records with Inflation, Rising Population

Really, is there anyone anywhere who thinks The Phantom Menace was the bigger hit movie because it outgrossed the original Star Wars twenty-two years later? There are plenty more of these, including some that you probably saw right through when they hit the news, at Math with Bad Drawings. -via Boing Boing


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