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Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities
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Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  330 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
From terrorist attacks to big money jackpots, Struck by Lightning deconstructs the odds and oddities of chance, examining both the relevant and irreverent role of randomness in our everyday lives. Human beings have long been both fascinated and appalled by randomness. On the one hand, we love the thrill of a surprise party, the unpredictability of a budding romance, or the ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published April 28th 2006 by Joseph Henry Press (first published 2005)
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Victoria Minassian
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
An entertaining read, but I didn't find any new insight or much new information. I expect to learn a lot when picking up a book like this, so I was slightly disappointed to discover that majority of the topics discussed are taught in high school math courses.
Remo
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it

Había visto este libro hacía un tiempo, y por fin me he hecho con él. Este libro tiene de todo, estimados lectores. El autor le da un repaso a muchos, muchísimos aspectos de la teoría de probabilidades que están, de una u otra manera, relacionados con la vida cotidiana. En 264 cortas páginas hay un montonazo de información.


Comenzamos leyendo sobre la Ley de los grandes números, que nos dice que, a medida que vayamos haciendo “experimentos” (es decir, tirando un dado, jugando a la ruleta, lanzan

...more
Karci
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Should be sugested as a supplementary literature for mathematics in high schools. :)
Kathryn
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This was a very fun non-fiction book to read; I love statistics and probabilities (possibly from first being an accountant, then a table games dealer in a casino), so I know how important the subject is. This was a very easy read, and one that anyone who is interested in probability could read.


After an introductory chapter, the author dives into probabilities, especially as applied to real life. He has information as to why the casino always wins (every game in the house is very slightly weighte
...more
Ben Thurley
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Subtitled, "The Curious World of Probabilities" this book on probability and statistics should probably have been written to arouse more curiosity and less, say, boredom or déja vu.

It's not terrible by any means, and there are certainly some helpful lessons for the mathematical layperson here. But rather than enlivening statistics it tends towards the repetitious, and the author's real-world examples and applications are either too cursory or lacking in drama to grab the imagination.

There are fa
...more
Tom S
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an IT Professional I am often working with mathematical, statistical and logical problems; I chose this book to discover some of the fun and interesting parts of statistics.

The very core concept of the book is to empower the reader to question and interpret statistics that they are exposed to in daily life. Well written stories and anecdotes back up the famous phrase "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

By the end of the book you will have picked up a number of interesting facts to regurgitate
...more
Franz
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was okay - a bit too "conversational" for my liking. But what really bothered me were Mr. Rosenthal's inserts, his fictitious stories that were to illuminate a particular point. They interrupted the flow, and were a bit over the top. And I could have done without the Final Exam - I would have scored 100% even without reading the book, which begs the question if I learned anything new.

Maybe okay for somebody who has absolutely no idea how to define and work with probabilities, but I was disapp
...more
Andrew
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Started off with some interesting scenarios and then explored the odds behind them. Makes coincidences and random events seem less random and more predictable. Too much time was spent on gambling and the odds behind different games. Obviously casinos make money so they are going to stack the odds in their favor. Best part was the explanation of scientific studies and how they determine if a study shows a correlation. What they are looking for is a p-value of less than .05, meaning there is only ...more
Chelsey Cosh
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
You're not going to become an economist or probability expert by reading this book, but at least you can see how probability, statistics, game theory, and other such math applies to everyday life. You understand the different types of biases, how probability works, the concepts of p-values and Gaussian distribution, utility functions, and more. I think it would be good reading in high school curricula. Best of all, it's nice to read a great book like Struck by Lightning, a Malcolm-Gladwell-read- ...more
Ryan
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at the world of probabilities. I am a little biased since I have heard him speak and find him a fascinating guy, but the problem with this book is that it isn't the other books on the same subject that came out at the same time. This book is neither Freakonomics or either of Taleb's books, and shouldn't be compared as such, but it is inevitable that it will be.

He writes very well and simplifies a complicated subject. A very good lay-man's look into how probabilities affect yo
...more
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