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The drunkard's walk : how randomness rules our lives

by Mlodinow, Leonard, 1954-

Format: Print Book 2008
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 11 copies
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CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection QA273.M63 2008
Location  CLP - East Liberty
 
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
 
Call Number  QA273.M63 2008
 
 
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction QA273.M63 2008
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  QA273.M63 2008
 
 
Community Library of Castle Shannon Non Fiction 519.2 Mlodinow
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  519.2 Mlodinow
 
 
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 519.2 M
Location  Monroeville Public Library
 
Collection  Non-fiction
 
Call Number  519.2 M
 
 
 
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Summary
In this irreverent and illuminating book, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, change, 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 cases, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.
The rise and fall of your favorite movie star of the most reviled CEO--in fact, of all our destinies--reflects 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.
How could it have happened that a wine was given five out of five stars, the highest rating, in one journal and in another it was called the worst wine of the decade? Mlodinow vividly demonstrates how wine ratings, school grades, political polls, and many other things in daily life are less reliable than we believe. By showing us the true nature of change and revealing the psychological illusions that cause us to misjudge the world around us, Mlodinow gives fresh insight into what is really meaningful and how we can make decisions based on a deeper truth. From the classroom to the courtroom, from financial markets to supermarkets, from the doctor's office to the Oval Office, Mlodinow's insights will intrigue, awe, and inspire.
Offering readers not only a tour of randomness, chance, and probability but also a new way of looking at the world, this original, unexpected journey reminds us that much in our lives is about as predictable as the steps of a stumbling man fresh from a night at the bar.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A "drunkard's walk" is a type of random statistical distribution with important applications in scientific studies ranging from biology to astronomy. Mlodinow, a visiting lecturer at Caltech and coauthor with Stephen Hawking of A Briefer History of Time, leads readers on a walk through the hills and valleys of randomness and how it directs our lives more than we realize. Mlodinow introduces important historical figures such as Bernoulli, Laplace and Pascal, emphasizing their ideas rather than their tumultuous private lives. Mlodinow defines such tricky concepts as regression to the mean and the law of large numbers, which should help readers as they navigate the daily deluge of election polls and new studies on how to live to 100. The author also carefully avoids veering off into the terra incognita of chaos theory aside from a brief mention of the famous "butterfly effect," although he might have spent a little more time on the equally famous n-body problem that led to chaos theory. Books on randomness and statistics line library shelves, but Mlodinow will help readers sort out Mark Twain's "damn lies" from meaningful statistics and the choices we face every day. (May 13) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Random variables.
Probabilities.
Chance.
Publisher New York :Pantheon Books,2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xi, 252 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 223-238) and index.
ISBN 9780375424045 (hardcover)
0375424040 (hardcover)
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