Table of Contents for A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

Introduction 1
Section 1: Politics, Economics, and the Nation
Lani "Quota Queen" Guinier
Voting, Power, and Mathematics 9
Bosnia: Is it Vietnam or World War II?
Psychological Availability and Anchoring Effects 14
Recession Forecast If Steps Not Taken
Unpredictability, Chaos, and Pooh-Poohing the Pooh-Bahs 19
Afta Nafta, Lafta; Free Traders Exult
Headlines and the Inverted Pyramid 27
Pakistan's Bhutto Gambles in Trade Negotiations
On Dice and Bluffing 30
Clinton, Dole in Sparring Roles
Who's News and Grammar Checkers 34
Iraqi Death Toll Unknown
Benchmark Figures in War, Crisis, and the Economy 38
D'Amato Agrees Hillary Most Honest Person Clinton Knows
Ambiguity and Nonstandard Models 42
Fraud Alleged in Pennsylvania Senate Race
Political and Mathematical Regression 45
Cult Members Accuse Government of Plot
Newspapers, Coincidences, and Conspiracy Theories 49
Section 2: Local, Business, and Social Issues
Company Charged with Ethnic Bias in Hiring
Test Disparities Need Not Imply Racism 59
SAT Top Quartile Score Declines
Correlation, Prediction, and Improvement 63
Guns Will Soon Kill More Than Cars
Comparability and Intensity 67
Abortion Activists Bomb Clinic
Prohibitions and Arithmetical Arguments 69
DNA Fingers Murderer
Life, Death, and Conditional Probability 72
Darts Trounce the Pros
Luck and the Market 74
Cellular Phones Tied to Brain Cancer
Multiplication, Health, and Business 79
GM Trucks Explode on Side Collision
From Pity to Policy 83
The $32 Billion Pepsi Challenge
Advertising and Numencal Craftiness 86
Brief Fads Dominate Toy Industry
S-Curves and Novelty 90
Area Residents Respond to Story
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition 94
Researchers Look to Local News for Trends
The Present, the Future, and Ponzi Schemes 96
Section 3: Lifestyle, Spin, and Soft News
A Cyberpunk Woody Allen
How to Write a Profile of the Fledgling Celebrity 101
Tsongkerclintkinbro Wins
Everybody's Got an Angle 104
Florida Dentist Accused of Intentionally Spreading AIDS
Rumors, Self Fulfilling Prophecies, and National Obsessions 107
Interlude: Selves, Heroes, and Dissociation 110
Candidates Contradict Each Other's Denials
Self Reference, Intentions, and the News 113
Special Investigator Says Full Story Not Told
Compressibility and the Complexity Horizon 120
Newspaper Circulation Down
Factoids on Tabloids 126
Computers, Faxes, Copiers Still Rare in Russia
Information and the Commissars 128
Section 4: Science, Medicine, and the Environment
Ranking Health Risks: Experts and Laymen Differ
The Dyscalculia Syndrome 133
Asbestos Removal Closes NYC Schools
Contaminated Mountains Out of Mole Spills 140
Super Collider a Waste of Money
Science Journalism and Advocacy 144
Harvard Psychiatrist Believes Patients Abducted by Aliens
Mathematically Creating One's Own Pseudoscience 147
FDA Caught Between Opposing Protesters
Statistical Tests and Confidence Intervals 151
Senators Eye Hawaii Health Care Plan
Scaling Up Is So Very Hard to Do 154
Breakthrough Forecast by End of Decade
You Can't Know More Than You Know 157
Rodent Population Patterns Difficult to Fathom
Ecology, Chaos, and the News 160
More Dismal Math Scores for U.S. Students
X,Y,andU 164
Section 5: Food, Book Reviews, Sports, Obituaries
761 Calories, 428 Mgs. Sodium, 22.6 Grams of Fat per Serving
Meaningless Precision 171
Top Designs for the Busy Working Woman
Fashion, Unpredictability, and Toast 173
Agassi Wins Again
Scoring and Amplifying Differences 176
New Survey Reveals Changing Attitudes
Societal Gas Laws 178
Near Perfect Game for Roger Clemens
How Many Runs in the Long Run 181
Bucks County and Environs
A Note on Maps and Graphic Games 184
Ask About Your Mother-in-Law's Lladro
Explanations, Advice, and Physics 186
Garden Club Gala
Incidence Matrices on the Society Pages 189
Ten Reasons We Hate Our Bosses
Lists and Linearity 191
Stallone on Worst-Dressed List
Traits and Rates 193
New Biography Fills Much-Needed Gap
Books and News 195
Which Way Mecca?
Religion in the Paper 197
R. L. Vickler, 85, Aide to Truman
The Length of Obituaries 199
Conclusion 201
Bibliography 205
Index 207