Book Cover
Author Mlodinow, Leonard, 1954-

Title The Drunkard's walk : how randomness rules our lives / Leonard Mlodinow
Edition First edition
Published New York : Pantheon Books, [2008]


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  519.2 Mlo/Dwh  DUE 02-12-19
Description xi, 252 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents 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
Summary "In this book, Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance." "The rise and fall of your favorite movie star or the most reviled CEO - in fact, all our destinies - reflects chance as much as planning and innate abilities. Even the legendary Roger Maris, who beat Babe Ruth's single season home run record, was in all likelihood not great but just lucky. And it might be shocking to realize that you are twice as likely to be killed in a car accident on your way to buying a lottery ticket than you are to win the lottery."--BOOK JACKET
Notes Includes index
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Random variables.
LC no. 2007042507
ISBN 9780375424045