Unexpectedly Intriguing!
May 1, 2020

"Why do people keep getting this wrong‽"

That's a question asked by Matt Parker, author of Humble Pi: A Comedy of Math Errors, to whom we have to give bonus points for his sneaky use of the interrobang in excitedly asking the question, which arose after he watched the mutilation of basic math by Mara Gay and Brian Williams on MSNBC. Having written the book on how big math mistakes get made, he offers what may be a reasonable explanation for why they, and sometimes others, get the math so very wrong when working with large numbers.

Here's his take, presented in the following nearly 13-minute video:

Here's a little more background on the media's latest major math error, which cost the media members involved a 'not small' part of their credibility.

Previously on Political Calculations

How Journalists Can Regain Lost Credibility

Journalism 101. Which today's journalists seem to have little interest in doing.

The Legacy of Walter Duranty

The New York Times was recently forced to acknowledge the central proposition upholding their entire 1619 Project's rewriting of American history was false, but Walter Duranty's knowingly false reporting enabled a dictator to starve and kill millions in the 1930s. That truth is something the editorial staff of the New York Times continues to refuse to come fully clean on, because that would mean rescinding a Pulitzer Prize they appear to value more than the lives of the millions they were complicit in starving.

Measuring the Credibility of Journalists

We describe math that could be used to quantify how reliable journalists are at getting the story right. If only they wanted to keep score.

Running Numbers for Reporters

We built a tool to help reporters take a quantity like 2,000 units per day and convert it into an equivalent number per some other time interval, such as per week, or per month, or per century. Because too many journalists get these kinds of numbers wrong too!


About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

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