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  • Disappointing

    The title sets an expectation not met. It should be "Some of the Math of Life". The book contains some mildly interesting sections but anyone who has ever taken a basic probability course might not learn much from it. A number of random topics are included with math as a loose connector. The section about transmission of disease was particularly relevant during covid-19 but I think the author invests too much in the accuracy of mathematical models and certainly we've seen they haven't done very well recently. Examples to illustrate points on different topics are included but nearly all with any political angle present only Republicans, conservatives, or right-wing thinkers as misusers of statistics. This exposes the author's bias. For example in describing a situation involving John McCain and Barack Obama, McCain when faced with a math question is described as flummoxed while Obama is lionized as erudite. The author evidently is not aware of Obama's mathematical flummox when he describes the USA as having 57 states. Most observers, even those who live in Europe, agree we have 50. The author is at his worst when he discusses gun rights, presenting data very different from any I've ever seen particularly in respect to gun violence in the United States, who causes it and who are the victims. Buy the book if you want to be lectured by a smug European with a wonderful British accent, if not save your money.

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