Calculus for journalists

“What do they teach them at these schools?” wondered the Professor in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  The Professor, of course, was concerned about logic. But I wonder too – not about logic, but about maths. Especially among journalists writing about life expectancy and other long-term trends. Here is the FT proclaiming “Average life expectancy falls”. This is the headline for a chirpy piece about how reduced life expectancy could make things easier for pension funds facing big deficits.  There’s only one problem with this. Life expectancy isn’t falling. And the report the FT cites does […]

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