How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters
The best-selling author of Policy Paradox, a classic on politics, delivers a path-breaking work on the simple act of counting.
Early in her extraordinary career, Deborah Stone wrote Policy Paradox, a landmark work on politics. Now, in Counting, she revolutionises how we approach numbers and shows how counting shapes the way we see the world. Most of us think of counting as a skill so basic that we see numbers as objective, indisputable facts. Not so, says Stone. In this playful-yet-probing work, Stone reveals the inescapable link between quantifying and classifying, and explains how counting determines almost every facet of our lives—from how we are evaluated at work to how our political opinions are polled to whether we get into higher education or even out of prison. But numbers, Stone insists, need not rule our lives. Especially in this age of big data, Stone’s work is a pressing and spirited call to reclaim our authority over numbers, and to take responsibility for how we use them.