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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Innumeracy in the headlines

England's greatest living poet, the Bard of Salford, John Cooper-Clarke sagely observed a couple of years ago that "mass illiteracy is a comparatively recent phenomenon", a reflection I'm sure on 13 years of New Labour Edukashun policy. He might have added that mass innumeracy is now so rampant as to form an irreversible block to national progress.

The win is the sixth time this year that a Briton has taken a slice of the jackpot and is the fifth highest EuroMillions prize ever won by anyone from the country.

Bizarrely, this was reported in one or two media outlets here as evidence of British "luck", when it is, of course, evidence of British innumeracy. No figures were published, but I'd certainly wager that the reason more Euromillions winners come from Britain is because more Brits buy tickets, and the reason why they buy so many tickets is that they don't understand rudimentary arithmetic and basic probability. I know this to be true, because I also saw in the newspapers here that some retailers were, rather disgustingly, to be honest, allowing their dimmest customers to waste money on another betting scam.

Cable slams casino tactics after shops offer 'disturbing' £1 bets to win purchases instead of paying

I'm sure this sort of thing must be related to the general decline in IQ in the UK.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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