I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.
While there are some interesting things I learned, The Drunkard's Walk was a disappointment. Sure, math is a challenging topic to make interesting and the author tries, but his attempts at levity fall short, his discussion of the characters that gave us modern statistics is still dry, and I struggled just to finish the book.
This book does take some time to get in to. You may be tempted to stop listening after the first 20 mins or so, but trust me, hang on, since it gets better and better.
I was delighted with the book. I feel like I have learnt a lot, even about some concepts that I have already encountered before. And it was an enjoyable learning experience!
If you are taking a course in statistics, this book is a must for you, since it will shed some light and interest onto the course material and will help you get a clearer and fuller picture.
It can also leave you with a lot of hope- a lot of the the phenomenons in this world are random- thus almost anything is possible...
If not the best one I've heard then definitely the second best, behind Endgame by Frank Brady.
I found the points where mistakes in peoples' understanding of probability have led to outrageous claims being passed off as fact to be both interesting and frightening.
I really enjoyed the court case in which a couple was convicted of robbery based on only probability arguments. Later on, it was discovered that the probability arguments were gravely flawed, and that based on probability alone, the couple was most likely innocent. Although disgusting, I found the underlying concepts to be fascinating.
I laughed and cried at the inability of even mathematicians to intuitively grasp probability concepts. In some cases involving the legal or financial systems, it was outright scary.
An eye-opening book that requires little to no knowledge of probability to understand. As a senior year math major, I found the explanations of how to calculate probabilities to be tedious, but the underlying applications (and misapplications) were extremely interesting and made for a great listen.
Jumps on his bed while licking the bottom of one foot. He persists in this life affirming act despite interference from the head nurse.
I admit that much of this text was a strain for me to follow, try as the author might to make it simple for fools such as myself. I purchased it thinking it was more qualitative than quantitative in its writing. It is not. I recommend this book for college-age students who want a cheery, facile introduction to things like game theory and probability statistics.
oh so very dry and boring... I mean this guy gives an example, then another, then another and so on and so on and so on..................... UGH!!! we get it already!
made it interesting!
the entire book
The content of this book is fascinating. It covers interesting history of the lives of mathematicians (in the context of probability and randomness). The narative builds gradually to give you a clear and thorough understanding of the author's idea of randomness. He describes how our human nature leads us to misconceptions of the effects of randomness in our daily lives and how those misconecptions in turn affect the decisions we make. Leonard Mlodinow explains these things through humor and history in entertaining vignettes accompanied by clear and simple explanations of the relevant concepts in probability and randomness.
I was wary of trying to understand mathematical concepts by listening alone. But I found the explanations clear and Sean Pratt's reading excellent, so that it was entirely easy to visualize in my head and follow along.
I can not make "heads or tails" out of this story. Statistical analysis, is at best, a complex subject and rarely found to be interesting by most people. Randomness, as it seems to apply to human life, is a complex and difficult topic to explain. My hope that the author had created a "Dummies" version to explain the pairing of randomness and statistical analysis in human life has been dashed. I will not be trying yet again, for a fourth time, to figure out what the author is trying to say. I am glad I did not pay full price for this audiobook.
I listen to podcasts and audiobooks at triple speed all the time, but I had a tough time listening to this book. This is especially true when the author cites numbers, and there's lots of them. I'll take it as a good sign that I had some trouble because I must have been engaging my brain while the author speaks, so I miss some things he say.
If you listen at triple speed, be prepared to either listen to it again, or just sit relatively still. It was hard to multitask.
A good book overall though.
Insightful, amusing, evocative.
The simple and yet unforgiving manner in which the author debunks all our popular assumptions and misconceptions about chance and randomness.
His reading is honest and straight-forward, making the dry humor as understated as the author surely intended.
This is not a book to move you, in my opinion, but to get your head wrapped around the depth of incongruity between intuition and logic.
Read (or listen) to this book with an open mind, and be honest with yourself! You will be surprised at how many of these pitfalls you suffer from.