Rewriting sensationalist headlines for mathematical correctness


Math With Bad Drawing's "Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World" is a rather good -- and awfully funny -- compendium of comparisons between attention-grabbing, math-abusing headlines, and their math-literate equivalents.

Our World: After Switch in Standardized Tests, Scores Drop
Mathematically Literate World: After Switch in Standardized Tests, Scores No Longer Directly Comparable

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: Still No Scientific Consensus on Global Warming
Mathematically Literate World: Still 90% Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

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

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

Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World

Notable Replies

  1. Ratel says:

    Awesome. If I were a media baron, my publication would be all stuff like this. And also, I could figure out what it would even mean, "delisticles".

  2. Overall the blog is wonderful. Many nice stories, and good intro to probability/statistics.

  3. $475 million > $461 million

    Is that adjusted for inflation?

  4. I could read those all day.

  5. Yeah, I appreciated the irony of that too.
    I think the way to rewrite that in a mathematically correct world is "some out of context number whose meaning we have no idea of was higher in the later Star Wars film, but we don't even know whether that is good or bad".

    Just shows how hard it is to live up to your own standards smile At least he's trying though.

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