I really like the concept of thinking by numbers. One of the best ways I’ve learned about thinking by numbers is reading Super Crunchers. I also recommend watching this Ted Talk- it offers some insights on using mathematics and data to predict human events.
About this talk (Via Ted)
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses mathematical analysis to predict (very often correctly) such messy human events as war, political power shifts, Intifada … After a crisp explanation of how he does it, he offers three predictions on the future of Iran.
About Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (Via Ted)
A consultant to the CIA and the Department of Defense, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has built an intricate computer model that can predict the outcomes of international conflicts with bewildering accuracy.