Quotation of the day

It seems to be our fate to enter this world with lousy quantitative instincts, as if Adam had miscounted the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge and forced all of us to suffer for his arithmetic sin.

It seems to be our fate to enter this world with lousy quantitative instincts, as if Adam had miscounted the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge and forced all of us to suffer for his arithmetic sin.

&#8212 from Derrick Niederman and David Boyum, What the Numbers Say.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Quotation of the day”

  1. For a species of ape that didn't evolve in an enviroment which demanded the regular use of algebra, I think we do remarkably well at math. Remember, humans doing math are like the dancing bear: It's not that we do it well, it's that we do it at all.

  2. I agree with the comments above. It always makes me uncomfortable when human cognitive abilities are stigmatized. As O'Hare says, compared to what? We need to start by trying to understand what the system is trying to do, what performance it's trying to optimize, and what constraints and trade-offs it's operating under before we evaluate how well it's doing.

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