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Exchange Exemplar: when the numbers don't quite add up

If something happens two percent of the time, and then begins to happen three percent of the time, it therefore has seen a 50% increase, right? T

hat's just one example of the ways in which we can tie our brains in knots with numbers. We get to prepare our own income tax returns and figure out medical bills, and it's not an easy thing for a lot of us.

Ellen Peters, who works to make tricky subjects understandable to broad audiences in her work at the University of Oregon, takes up the challenges math presents, in the book Innumeracy in the Wild: Misunderstanding and Misusing Numbers.

Innumeracy? Like illiteracy for numbers. The author joined us halfway through 2020 to talk about keeping our numbers straight.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.