Mlodinow, Leonard, 1954-

The Drunkard's walk : how randomness rules our lives / Leonard Mlodinow. - 1st ed. - New York : Pantheon Books, c2008. - xi, 252 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Peering through the eyepiece of randomness : the hidden role of chance : when human beings can be outperformed by a rat -- The laws of truths and half-truths : the basic principles of probability and how they are abused : why a good story is often less likely to be true than a flimsy explanation -- Finding your way through a space of possibilities : a framework for thinking about random situations : from a gambler in plague-ridden Italy to Let's Make a Deal -- Tracking the pathways to success : how to count the number of ways in which events can happen, and why it matters : the mathematical meaning of expectation -- The dueling laws of large and small numbers : the extent to which probabilities are reflected in the results we observe : Zeno's paradox, the concept of limits, and beating the casino at roulette -- False positives and positive fallacies : how to adjust expectations in light of past events or new knowledge : mistakes in conditional probability from medical screening to the O.J. Simpson trial and the prosecutor's fallacy -- Measurement and the law of errors : the meaning and lack of meaning in measurements : the bell curve and wine ratings, political polls, grades, and the position of planets -- The order in chaos : how large numbers can wash out the disorder of randomness : or why 200,000,000 drivers form a creature of habit -- Illusions of patterns and patterns of illusion : why we are often fooled by the regularities in chance events : can a million consecutive zeroes or the success of Wall Street gurus be random? -- The drunkard's walk : why chance is a more fundamental conception than causality : Bruce Willis, Bill Gates, and the normal accident theory of life.

An irreverent look at how randomness influences our lives, and how our successes and failures are far more dependent on chance events than we recognize.

9780375424045 0375424040

2007042507


Random variables--Popular works.
Probabilities--Popular works.
Chance--Popular works.

QA273 / .M63 2008

519.2