Posted by: njs44 | January 22, 2010

Statistics

Although I taught maths for many years, and can work out things like 17.5% of £256 without a calculator, I still find it hard to get my head round very large numbers. Once the figures have moved outside my range of experience I am bewildered. For example, in the Guardian on Wednesday I read that

The chief executive of Cadbury stands to pocket cash and shares worth £12m from the company’s £11.9bn sale to the American food giant Kraft in a deal that also hands fees of at least £250m to legions of City advisers.

What do these figures mean? How much is £12m? And who are these advisers who get £250m? It is so far away from any figure I have ever had to deal with that I cannot comprehend it at all. My eyes glaze over and my mind begins to wander long before I have read the next paragraph of the story.

Then I turn to further on in the paper, where the Haiti disaster has been relegated even though for the people affected life is still unimaginably terrible, so that stories of Cadbury’s must mean absolutely nothing. Again there are figures which I cannot begin to understand.

Reading Ed Pilkington’s article at last made sense. He talks about individuals. The figures are ones I can cope with. But it only makes the situation more real, more desperate. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/19/haiti-earthquake-orphanage

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Responses

  1. Hello Nicky

    I just wanted to say thank you for your lovely comments on our blog – we really appreciate it.

    Best wishes

    Paul


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