Political Numeracy: Mathematical Perspectives on Our Chaotic Constitution
W. W. Norton & Company, 2002 - Mathematics - 287 pages
From the Impossibility of a perfectly democratic vote to the creation of a model that clarifies affirmative action debates, law professor and math enthusiast Michael Meyerson uses mathematics to open a fresh, exciting window onto American public life.
In thoroughly accessible and entertaining terms, Meyerson applies mathematical concepts of infinity to the abortion debate; shows how the "prisoner's dilemma" from game theory relates to interstate commerce disputes; provides a surprising arithmetical justification of the Electoral College; and uses topology to understand the shape of American government and Godel's incompleteness theorem to shed new light on metaconstitutional problems, such as whether we need to appoint independent prosecutors to investigate presidential wrongdoing.
With admirable clarity, Meyerson shows us how math, properly understood, is not about reducing life to numbers and black-and-white solutions but instead offers a mind-expanding perspective on the complexities of our world.
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