I should have guessed that listening to Maths is not the way to learn about it! Ideas such as Pascal's triangle are not easily grasped by a spoken description. There is a lot of repetition in this book, concerning the lives of various mathematicians, and how their theories have been read, re-read re worked, and reapplied. Very little of this book was new to me, and I think the title should have read "an introduction to probability theory, with historical references". The populist title used by the author, I don't feel to be a good description of the contents.
Fortunately, I got this book at cut price. I'm glad I didn't pay the original price for it.
Mlodinow is inspired; he finds stories, analogies, mysteries and histories that make the development of probability theory fascinating. I really enjoyed the book. The mathematics and the concepts were so easy to follow - building so solidly from step to step. I think I truly understand probability better now than I did after years of university statistics. Without (visible) effort Mlodinow has gifted me with understanding of the heart of probability - without that slightly panicked feeling of groping over it's slippery, mathematical surface. Seriously.
Lloyd James performance is fantastic. I love his voice, his pace, his modulation. Lloyd adds greatly to Mlodinow's intent to make this a joy and a conversation. (Loyd's voice niggled at me for ages, so certain was I that I had heard it before. Finally I twigged that he was the gent of the Russian accent performing Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"! Another excellent job.)
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
Heads or tails?
There were no characters. This is a non-fictional popular science book
There were no scenes. My favourite part was the section concerning the 3 doors. I was astonished by the fact that one's intuition can be so misleading in assessing probability. Fascinating.
I wouldn't say 'moved', because, as mentioned this was not a novel! But several sections were interesting and informative.
Overall I would say this was a really good book. The minor weaknesses were that it focused bit too much on the history of probability and that at times it was a bit of a 'lesson'. However, I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in probability/randomness
This book in a poor choice for anyone who wants to learn "How Randomness Rules Our Lives." It is basically the history and development of Probability Theory with a few (good) examples of how it may be used to better understand some things in the world around us.
I already understood and liked Probability Theory, and wanted to learn "How Randomness Rules Our Lives." This book didn't deliver much in that direction.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Not really sure what it is though. More about probablility theory development. There are some really interesting parts that I found fasinating... but on the whole it was too easy for my brain to space it out and I had to rewind a lot to figure out where I was before my brain turned off. It would be of great interest to mathmatically inclined people, theorists or perhaps gamblers.
It was very interesting. As some other readers have pointed out he spends a lot of time covering the history of the development of modern statistics. For someone like me, who was not familiar with this, it was a very interesting listen. In fact, I might listen to it again sometime to try and get a better handle on who invented what. There are a lot of names to remember in a single listen. But even without remembering names and dates, it was still very interesting to learn how the field developed and what kind of thinking lead these historical thinkers to develop such powerful mathematical tools.
No I haven't. But this was pretty good.
I wouldn't say that really... but it kept me entertained enough that I wanted to come back to it.
I found this book absolutely fascinating. It's the kind of book that makes you think about things differently, and I found that when I wasn't listening to it, I spent a lot of time thinking through the things I had heard last time I listened. The book is great, the narrator is great, if you're a fan of science, and of learning new, mind-expanding things you hadn't thought about before, read this!
I have a solid background on probabilities and statistics and technically I didn't learn a lot from the book but the examples, a lot of them!, are the best.
Explain probabilities, normal distribution and variance without a graphics, whiteboard or paper to people without mathematical background is really difficult and this book with very good examples does it!
Excellent reading for everybody.
This book is like statistics class. I did not think it really talked about how randomness rules our lives. I think Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, is better for this topic.
its was a bit technical, lots of math which was rather hard to follow while listening. I would therefore suggest reading this one instead of listening to it.