Someone literate is fluent with reading and writing. Someone logerate is fluent with orders of magnitudes and the ubiquitous mathematical functions that dominate our universe.
Like someone literate can take an idea and break it down into the correct symbols and words, someone logerate can take an idea and break it down into the correct classes and orders of magnitude.
Someone literate can read an article and determine whether it makes sense grammatically. Someone logerate can read an article and determine whether it makes sense logarithmically.
Someone literate can read and write an address on the front of the envelope. Someone logerate can use the back of the envelope.
The opposite of logeracy is illogeracy: the inability to think in logarithms. An illogerate person is one who frequently gets the orders of magnitude wrong.
An illogerate person may correctly understand parts 2 and 3 of a 3 term equation but get the first time-dependent part wrong and so get the whole thing wrong.
An illogerate person can be penny wise pound foolish.
An illogerate person treats all parts of an argument as important.
An illogerate person may mistake one part of a sin wave for a trend.
An illogerate is one who may be familiar with exponentials but unfamiliar with sigmoids.
No country or organization measures logeracy yet
Countries have been measuring literacy for hundreds of years now. As the chart above shows, the world has made great progress in reducing illiteracy. 200 years ago, ~90% of the world was illiterate. Now that's down to ~10%. If you break it down further by country, you'll see that in countries like Japan and the United States literacy is over 99%.
Logeracy is how engineering works. Good engineers fluently and effortlessly work across scales. If we want to be an interplanetary species, we first must become a more logerate species.
Logeracy makes decision making simple and fast (figure out the classes of the options, and then the decision should be obvious).
My knowledge here is limited. I know Computer Science students could be the ones taught logeracy best. We are taught it by a different name. CS students are repeatedly taught to think in Big O notation
Perhaps its electrical engineers, or astronomers, or aerospace engineers. These folks are frequently working with vast scale differences so logeracy is required.
In finance, 100% of successful early stage technology investors I know of are highly logerate.
It would be interesting to see logeracy rates across industries. Perhaps measuring that would lead to progress.
My high school chemistry teacher first exposed me to logeracy when she taught me Scientific Notation. That was probably the only real drilling I got in logeracy before getting into Computer Science. Scientific Notation is a handy notation and a great introduction to logeracy, but logeracy is so important that it probably deserves its own dedicated class in high schools where it is drilled repeatedly from many difference perspectives.
I would recommend "The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn" by Hamming. That's maybe the most logerate book I've ever read. I also love Taleb's Incerto series (ie Fooled by Randomness, Black Swan, Antifragile...).
I don't think so. However, I do believe you can be out of balance. One needs to be linerate
I read Innumeracy and Beyond Numeracy by Paulos over a decade ago
Numeracy is a good term. Logeracy is a much better term. Someone logerate but innumerate often makes small mistakes. Someone numerate but illogerate often makes large mistakes.
Numeracy is sort of like knowing the letters of the alphabet. Knowing the letters is a necessary thing on the path to literacy, but not that useful by itself. Likewise, being numerate is a step to being logerate, but the real bang for your buck comes with logeracy.
Literacy without logeracy is dangerous. My back-of-the-envelope guess is that over 80% of writers and editors in today's media are illogerate (or perhaps are just acting like it in public). 2020 was an eye opening year for me. I had vastly underestimated how prevalent illogeracy was in our society. I am tired of talking about the pandemic, but to this day in the news I see a steady stream of "leaders" obliviously promoting their illogeracy, and walking around outside I see a huge percentage of my fellow citizens demonstrating the same. I would guess currently over 60% of America is illogerate. The funny thing is it may be correlated with education—if you are educated as a non-engineer you perhaps are more likely to be illogerate than a high school dropout, because you rely too much on your literacy and are oblivious to your illogeracy. I am very interested to see data on rates of logeracy.
I wrote my first post on Orders of Magnitudes nearly twelve years ago, back in 2009. At the time I didn't have a concise way to put it, so instead I advised "think in Orders of Magnitude". Now I have a better way to put it: become logerate. I wonder what wonderful things humankind will achieve when we have logeracy rates like our literacy rates.