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John Allen Paulos
 Interview: John Allen Paulos
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This week Derek sits down with the author of "A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours", John Allen Paulos. The author has written books weaving math into facets of life with book topics ranging from math and humor, to the stock market. This new work takes a more 'personal' look at the intersection of math, numbers, and personal stories and histories.
Show Notes

– Date – March 15th, 2016
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Interview: John Allen Paulos [20:25]
– Born in Denver.
– Grew up in Wisconsin.
– Went into the Peace Corps during the war draft.
– Former regular columnist for man news outlets, ABC News, Scientific American, and others.
– Considers himself a ‘Lifelong Skeptic’ it started as early as when his parents told him about Santa Claus.
– It is amazing that people grow out of the belief in many unbelievable things, yet never grow out of many other equally unbelievable things.
– Is a fellow for the CFI.
– Has written many books which all combine math and science, or normal life from humor to the stock market.
– He enjoys doing it because mathematics is so prevalent in almost all facets of life.
– Latest book is ‘A Numerate Life‘.
– The new book is almost a autobiography in the flavor of his past works.
– A 5th grade teacher who wouldn’t see logic when it came to the math of baseball.
– Made him realize that math can show/prove things without a doubt no matter how much ‘bigger’ the other guy may be.
– The power of math showed ancient people that the Earth was round and calculated the circumference of the planet to great accuracy.
– The book mentions how bias causes many errors in biographies, auto or otherwise.
– Due to the known limitations of memory and human bias it should keep us all skeptical of any personal memoir, or life story.
– Romantic crushes run afoul of a lot of logic, and can cause blindness to new information.
– You can look at a romantic crush much like the ‘thinking fast’ as referenced in the book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’.
– In one way he laments the fact that it is possible that he helped get George W. Bush elected.
– Quite often the best answer for any politician is to always mention that the real answer is ‘I do not know’.
– In reality every really/actually wants a ‘flip flopper’ in charge so they will use new evidence to guide them moving forward.
– You can follow him on Twitter at: @JohnAllenPaulos.
– Go to his website at:
– Grab his newest book here, or any of his many others.

Outro Music [50:30]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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