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Do Dice Play God?

The Mathematics of Uncertainty
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A celebrated mathematician explores how math helps us make sense of the unpredictable

We would like to believe we can know things for certain. We want to be able to figure out who will win an election, if the stock market will crash, or if a suspect definitely committed a crime. But the odds are not in our favor. Life is full of uncertainty - indeed, scientific advances indicate that the universe might be fundamentally inexact - and humans are terrible at guessing. When asked to predict the outcome of a chance event, we are almost always wrong. 

Thankfully, there is hope. As award-winning mathematician Ian Stewart reveals, over the course of history, mathematics has given us some of the tools we need to better manage the uncertainty that pervades our lives. From forecasting, to medical research, to figuring out how to win, Let's Make a Deal, Do Dice Play God? is a surprising and satisfying tour of what we can know, and what we never will.

©2019 Ian Stewart (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"In an era of soundbites, bold certainty grabs more attention, but ignoring uncertainty doesn't make it go away. In this wide-ranging tour, Ian Stewart gives us a much needed antidote to the plague of fabricated black-and-white arguments: Instead of pretending to be certain when we can't be, we can understand and rationalize uncertainty, using the tools of mathematics." (Eugenia Cheng, author of How to Bake Pi)

"As Stewart so ably demonstrates, uncertainly is the very stuff of life.... A lot here to enjoy and chew on - especially in the sidelong glances at climate change denial and lawyers' misuses of statistics." (The Telegraph)

"Life is full of uncertainty, but as Ian Stewart shows in this fascinating new book, humanity is endlessly striving to anticipate the future. Stewart brilliantly explores the exhilarating milestones and frustrating limits in our quest to map out the shape of things to come, from the challenges of weather and climate forecasting to the frontiers of modern physics. An extraordinary overview of the challenges of forecasting in a universe built on randomness." (Paul Halpern, author of The Quantum Labyrinth)

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Actually a question

rephrases Einstein's famous question as he deals with the philosophy of statistics. Gives a layman's overview of statistics as currently applied.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful