The rise and fall of your favorite movie star or the most reviled CEO - in fact, all our destinies - reflects chance as much as planning and innate abilities. Even Roger Maris, who beat Babe Ruth's single season home-run record, was in all likelihood not great but just lucky.
How could it have happened that a wine was given five out of five stars by one journal and called the worst wine of the decade by another? Wine ratings, school grades, political polls, and many other things in daily life are less reliable than we believe. By showing us the true nature of chance and revealing the psychological illusions that cause us to misjudge the world around us, Mlodinow gives fresh insight into what is really meaningful and how we can make decisions based on a deeper truth. From the classroom to the courtroom, from financial markets to supermarkets, from the doctor's office to the Oval Office, Mlodinow's insights will intrigue, awe, and inspire.
Offering listeners not only a tour of randomness, chance and probability but also a new way of looking at the world, this original, unexpected journey reminds us that much in our lives is about as predictable as the steps of a stumbling man afresh from a night at a bar.
©2008 Leonard Mlodinow; (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp
"A wonderful guide to how the mathematical laws of randomness affect our lives." (Stephen Hawking)
"If you're strong enough to have some of your favorite assumptions challenged, please listen to The Drunkard's Walk....a history, explanation, and exaltation of probability theory....The results are mind-bending." (Fortune)
I took remedial math in community college and per-calculus for business three times before passing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This book makes probability and statistics fun. I want to learn more now, but then I also fall outside the normal range (plus or minus .5 percent). Excellent narration.
A fun read, full of interesting details, fascinating stories, and memorable explanations. I learned a lot, shared much with my students, and will listen again and again because it is that interesting.
Yes. This was enjoyable and informative. How could it get better?
Fascinating history of our struggle to understand chance and randomness with enough examples thrown in to make it easy to understand. We get lucky a lot more often than we care to admit. The section on CEO performance was eye opening and a good example of how we need to believe we have control over things we do not.
Coffee is a food group right next to chocolate, right?
That I learned about misconceptions I never knew I had.
Gain the history and inner knowledge of the random
I didn't expect the history lesson. It made what I thought might be a boring topic very interesting.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I didn't read the print version so I don't know. I don't consider this to be a useful question. I listen to audiobooks when my hands are otherwise occupied on a mundane task. I would likely not have gotten around to reading this book if it weren't being read to me while doing laundry and ironing and working in my studio.
Also not an appropriate question for this book.
I thought the most personally relevant information came at the end when the author was talking about famous authors, like Stephen King, whose work didn't do as well under a pen name. Earlier the author talked about the more well known (at least to me) story of JK Rowling's Harry Potter manuscripts being refused repeatedly. I also appreciated the section on listener's ratings and purchases of music by unknown artists.
The take-away is that so much of artistic success is reliant on luck, forces beyond their talent and, essentially, randomness.
As an artist, this is an interesting, though not necessarily a comforting perspective.
Again, weird question.
Seriously, this is not a useful way for me to review this audiobook.
I liked this book because it was accessible and very relevant to a regular person's life. I like
family tree buff
It was interesting, but there isn't much of a practical application to one's life.
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.
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