Danielle's Reviews > The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

The Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow
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's review
Feb 19, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, danielle-recommends
Read in April, 2009

Really interesting. I really enjoyed it. Here is my favorite quote from the book, which summarizes the entire theme:
"It is easy to believe that ideas that worked were good ideas, that plans that succeeded were well designed, and that ideas and plans that did not were ill conceived. And it is easy to make heroes out of the most successful and to glance with disdain at the least. But ability does not guarantee achievement, nor is achievement proportional to ability. And so it is important to always keep in mind the other term in the equation—the role of chance."
I'm also reading Outliers right now, which shares the idea of "success" not really being as hard-earned as we want to believe. Even among our idols, there's a good deal of luck involved. I like the idea that outward success doesn't really correlate with inherent worth.
If you decide to read this book (which I recommend) keep in mind that there's a hefty amount of statistics (in basic layman's terms, but it did call up memories of Stats 105), and also a lot of history about the field of statistics. That being said, Mlodinow does an impressive job of making a dry subject interesting, and I never lost my motivation to keep reading.
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Reading Progress

02/19/2009 page 7
2.78% "Great so far!"
02/23/2009 page 20
7.94% "The downside of reading books with my husband: it takes forever to make any progress! A really interesting book, though."

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