- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Penguin UK (2 April 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780141026473
- ISBN-13: 978-0141026473
- ASIN: 0141026472
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 1.6 x 12.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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'Mlodinow writes in a breezy style, interspersing probabilistic mind-benders with portraits of theorists ! The result is a readable crash course in randomness.' New York Times 'If you're strong enough to have some of your favorite assumptions challenged, please read the Drunkard's Walk, a history, explanation, and exaltation of probability theory.' Fortune magazine
About the Author
Leonard Mlodinow has a Ph.D., has been a member of the faculty of the California Institute of Technology and a television writer in Hollywood, as well as developing many award winning CD-Roms. He is currently Vice President of Emerging Technologies and R&D at Scholastic Inc. and lives in New York City. His previous books include A Brief History of Time, which he co-authored, and Euclid's Window and Some Time with Feynman both published by Penguin.
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That is exactly what this book describes. We know even evolution had chance element at its heart. The author is truly brilliant as probability, randomness and statistics are not very well received or learnt subjects even today but reading these topics from this book was a breeze. However truth be told, two-three examples I found were little dense in the book or its possible I have not been able to follow but abstractions had helped in understanding those as well. I will go back to the book sometime later anyway.
There are stories picked up to narrate why determinism is not what is everywhere...but it is what we seek and how things that seem absolute are in reality only the probability distributions (like how we know from uncertainty principle & schroedinger's observation theory as well anyway..although these are my conjecture). But we, because of our developed biases try to make it definitive.
So many stories are mentioned of tremendous success, so few you could believe had to do with measuring talent by results after reading the book.
It is like strings of events/non-events going on & on & on endlessly, mindlessly, randomly, hopelessly, meaninglessly and we just have happened to be somewhere along, around, under, over, hanging, running on those strings trying to make our way by thinking that probabilities & patterns are absolute or deterministic.
The examples of 1) mathematical expectation, 2) infinite sequence of zeroes and ones could produce what seem to be definitive patterns, 3) the probabilities of success explained through the story of a successful market analyst and 4) finding theft, fraud, anomaly through pascal's triangle or bell curve were like the light switch!!