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The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (2008)

by Leonard Mlodinow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,908864,828 (3.92)82
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.

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» See also 82 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
  vorefamily | Feb 22, 2024 |
Very interesting deep-dive into randomness and the role it plays in our lives. ( )
  EZLivin | Jan 18, 2024 |
This will be one I reread from time to time. It discusses how amazing humans are at recognizing patterns. To the extent that we pretty much constantly search for them, even when they are not there. This causes problems.

My favorite example of this was a survey which tracked misconceptions. Most of which seem obvious if you think about them, but our brains are geared to lizard brain them before we actually think about them. One of the questions asked if the respondent thought there were more words in the English language that contain the letter "n" or more that end in "ing"

The overwhelming majority answered "Ing," because they recognized it as an oft-repeating pattern, and blanked right over the fact that there's an "n" in "ing" ( )
  Moon_Cthulhu | Nov 9, 2023 |
Fascinating look at the random nature of the universe.The only book I have that ties together baseball, conspiracy theories and backgammon, not to mention the black death and stock market. Luck is universally underappreciated, and often overlooked entirely - this book shows how that tendency can lead to disastrous miscalculations. Highly recommended. ( )
  dhaxton | Oct 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
This book is rich in handy little definitions that serve as signposts for would-be gamblers: availability bias, for instance, and the law of sample space; the lucky-guess scenario and the wrong-guess scenario; the prosecutor's fallacy, the sharpshooter effect and the law of large numbers.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Tim Radford (Jul 12, 2008)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leonard Mlodinowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alfaro, DiegoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campante, SérgioCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, LloydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jurkiewicz, SamuelConsultoriasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Katerinov, IlariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
KeenanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lokk, VahurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Niehaus, MonikaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olvet, TriinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soonsein, ReinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zijlemaker, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my three miracles of randomness: Olivia, Nicolai, and Alexi ... and for Sabina Jakubowicz
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A few years ago, a man won the Spanish national lottery with a ticket that ended in the number 48.
If psychics really existed, you'd see them in places like [Monte Carlo], hooting and dancing and pushing wheelbarrows of money down the street, and not on Web sites calling themselves Zelda Who Knows All and Sees All and offering twenty-four-hour free online love advice [...].
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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.

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