The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
In this new book, physicist Leonard Mlodinow attempts to show why underestimating randomness is really not a good idea. He lays a foundatio...more
The book is a bit chatty, and needs to focus a bit more on errors people make with statistics in their personal lives ... but Mlodinow hit on an essential concept.
I liked this lesson: that successful people are lucky, but that lucky people are persistent, flexible, and brave.
If we were all unfeeling iRobots (floor cleaners) who respond to the random encounters in our lives by simply changing direction then the premise of this book is justified, for we would all follow our individual drunkard's walks to whatever probabilistic future awaits us. (view spoiler)[However taking this a step further, Leonard Mlodinow suggests that much of how our lives transpire is happenstance, defined by a supreme law of probability that governs what we experience and perceive as humans....more
Manches wird ein bisschen aufdringlich wiederholt (ok, Lektoren und Weinexperten sind auch nur Menschen), und manches ist...more
This book made me admire what modern statistics—a topic I couldn't care less—is capable of doing and convinced me, like Taleb's The Black Swan and Burton Malkiel's Random Walk Down Wall Street how randomness really rules our lives and it's important to recognize chance events and not mistakenly assign them some causality that's not there. The history of probability theory and statistics Mlodinow tells in this book is nothing short of fascinating, and I was floored by the answers to some...more
The main concept to take out of The Drunkard's Walk is simple -- results are based on a good deal more random chance than skill, an...more
But picking what kind of narrative to tell ends up having huge ramifications on the longevity of a book. If you go Mlodinow's route and tie it mostly to the h...more
Mlodinow writes anecdotally, using salient examples from the news and his own life to illustrate how, in every conceivable domain, even intelligent people can't...more
This book by Physics Professor Mlodinow of Cal Tech, tries to present the principles of probability and statistics in a general way – avoiding the use of mathematics as much as possible. The writer uses as many anecdotes as possible to lay his case before the reader in a style that keeps us from getting too confused. The concepts are relatively simple, but the actual use of the techniques requires analytical ski...more
The Drunkard's Walk: Did you ever watch the tv show "NUMB3RS"? I kind of envision this author to be like Charlie Epps, the math wizard on that show. and the book is kind of like those little vignettes that happen when Charlie is explaining various math theories and how they apply to what ever his current investigation is. The book was interesting: lots of little stories about various scientists and mathematicians who figured out various theories or used various mathematical formulae to solve the...more
Και σε ένα final four π...more
The author chooses some very nice topics to discuss, but there seems to be little cohesion in how they are ordered and presented. For some topics he has an extensive historical introduction, and for a while you think that history might be the unifying approach in the book, but others are presented via personal a...more
If I had to summarize this book in one sentence, I would quote page 11, "We habitually underestimate the effects of randomness." We assume, for example, that the hugely successful must have some secret or superior knowledge or talent. However, Mlodinow shows how, for example, given two p...more
The Drunkard's walk, despite Mr. Mlodinow's attempts at following Mr. Gladwell's formula, does not succeed in copying Mr. Gladwell's easy to read voice as well. First of all, although the subtitle SAYS "how randomness rules our lives," I actually found the book to be...more
I stumbled upon The Drunkard's Walk in a rugged bookstore. It has been translated, if I recall correctly, into one of the latin-sourced languages that I happen to speak and, reluctant to carry one extra brick in my luggage, decided on a whim to Kindle it. I was not to regret it (although this cannot be attributed to Leonard Mlodinow's ab...more
Artists are often faced with inexplicable rejections from shows or publications. Quality work is ignored and denied. When an artist then arrives at the exhibition, the selected work is not of high quality and some random lump wins "best of show". I've always believed that awards and selections for inclusion in shows are frequently random or determined by factors other than quality of the work. This book suggests that I am correct in this belief.
Okay, so I'm being flip, but...more
The book was a very pleasant read. However, when Mlodinow tried to explain basic statistical principles like central limit theorem...more
In the first few chapters it sometimes seems that this book is a kind of an american version of Bad Science, and even more than a few anecdotes are given in both books, regarding our readiness to accept patterns where there are none.
Mlodinow's conclusions, however, are quite different, and they are presented in a way that will make Goldacre scream "bad science!"...more
Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1959, of parents who were both Holocaust survivors. His father, who spent more than a year in the Buchenwald death camp, had been a leader in the Jewish resistance under Nazi rule in his hometown of Częstochowa, Poland. As a child, Mlodinow was interested in both mathematics and chemistry, and while in high schoo...more
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We also use our imagination and take shortcuts to fill gaps in patterns of nonvisual data. As with visual input, we draw conclusions and make judgments based on uncertain and incomplete information, and we conclude, when we are done analyzing the patterns, that out “picture” is clear and accurate. But is it?”