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The Tyranny of Numbers

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The Tyranny of Numbers

Why Counting Can't Make Us Happy


Paperback / softback

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The Tyranny of Numbers by David Boyle
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Too often we try to quantify what can't actually be measured. We count people, but not individuals. We count exam results rather than intelligence, benefit claimants instead of poverty. The government has set itself 10,000 new targets. Politicians pack their speeches with skewed statistics: crime rates are either rising or falling depending on who is doing the counting. We are in a world in which everything is designed only to be measured. If it can't be measured it can be ignored. The problem is what numbers don't tell you - they won't interpret, they won't inspire, and they won't tell you precisely what causes what. In this book, David Boyle examines our obsession with numbers. He reminds us of the danger of taking numbers so seriously at the expense of what is non-measurable, non-calculable: intuition, creativity, imagination, and happiness.

Author Biography

David Boyle is a journalist who has written about new ideas in economics for the past decade in newspapers and magazines all over the world. He is the author of Funny Money. Since 1988 he has been editor of New Economics magazine and he has also edited a range of other publications including Town & Country Planning. David Boyle is a fellow of the RSA and a well-known figure in organizations such as the New Economics Foundation. He has been a Winston Curchill Fellow and is a regular broadcaster on the future of money, cities ecomomics and a range of other topics.
Release date NZ
December 3rd, 2001
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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