Edward Mattison


Recently, as I was trying to concentrate on yet another graph in Losing Ground, a neighbor's eight-year-old son came along with his favorite book of facts under his arm and asked me whether I knew that the most common name in the world was Mohammed Chang. I was surprised to discover this, since it seemed an unlikely combination; I had certainly never known anyone with the name Mohammed Chang. Sensing my skepticism, the child showed me where in his book it said that Mohammed was the world's most popular first name and Chang the most popular last name. While putting my notes together for this review, I kept remembering the incident. The child's mistaken logical leap reminded me of the flawed progression of reasoning in Losing Ground

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