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Publisher's Summary

How the study of causality revolutionized science and the world

"Correlation does not imply causation". This mantra has been invoked by scientists for decades and has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed causality - the study of cause and effect - on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet, and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl's work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: It lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.

©2018 Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book! Not a great audiobook.

This is a book about probability and graphical models. As an avid audiobook reader, it pains me to say: this is not a good audiobook. There are quite a lot of figures that are essential to understand the text (e.g. textual references to “A” and “B” in figure X.X), and many probability formulae that are read out loud in all their manifold subscript glory. This makes the text very hard to understand from the audio alone (and there was no accompanying PDF to show the figures when I bought this book!).

But this is a fantastic book! I bought the kindle version to complement the audio. I would suggest that this is essential. Even if the figures accompanied the text in a PDF, the formulae in the text still make the audio an insufficient medium to comprehend the rich ideas expressed.

I’m very glad this audiobook exists; it gives me a way to chew on many of these ideas when I can’t read a physical book. But you should definitely expect to read the textual version if you want a good understanding of this material.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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The accompanying pdf is missing

The book is meant to come with a pdf but it hasn't been attached. I like the book though.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great material, but highly visual

The examples, problems (and theirsolutions), etc. rely on visual models. You can look at the PDF of the diagrams while listening, but it’s tough to do if, like me, you mostly listen during times when visuals are inconvenient, say on your commute to work or while running,

The book is super interesting, though. Well worth a listen with pdf in hand.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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do not recommend this for audio book

too much mathematicians story, many opinions and not concise. may be better for a book

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Totally dry

Very boring material and subpar narrator. Wouldn't reccomend it for a read. Definitely was boring

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn't make it past an hour

The subject matter is interesting but this is a bad audio book.The narrator is terrible. His delivery is sing-song and didactic with no emotional nuance to follow the text. It was as if he were reading a difficult story to children. I gave the narrator two stars because his diction is excellent but I couldn't stand to listen to him any more.

I can't say much about the content because I didn't make it very far into the book. The ideas are quite abstract and difficult to absorb in an audio version. The book depends on many illustrations and diagrams. You can download these but I listen to audio books while driving so they are of no use to me. During the time I spent with the work, I could not decide whether it describes new tools for statistical analysis or is a bit crackpot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • United States
  • 06-15-18

Great book with clear explanations

Needs kindle copy to follow diagrams and equations but aside from that it gives very clear explanations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book but audio only is not enough

I really enjoyed this book! deep, though accessible to an educated audience, brilliant and well structured. it requires the reader (listener) to see the tables and graphs that come in a pdf, and therefore this is not the perfect audiobook for travelling and other circumstances in which full (and only) audio material would be appreciated

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Very well thought out

Again, the diagrams are hard to follow visually, but you can download and print them if you go on the browser version of Audible.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not good as a pure audiobook

If you're reading this in print or on Kindle, it's worth it as an audio narration. But I thought it was hopeless trying to just listen to it on its own. So much of the book discusses and analyzes graphs, tables, and (to a much lesser extent) formulas. Maybe some people can follow all the relevant information from audio only, but I don't think most people can. I gave up after the first couple chapters, and then bought the Kindle edition, and used the Audible narration. That was a good combination.

I would not recommend buying this book unless you are also buying it in print or the Kindle edition.

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  • Alban
  • 08-10-18

Read it today

This book will cause you to think, and think deep. The content of this book should be made available to schools for people to have access to these concepts from younger age but of course they should be adopted for early thinking in one's life.

This book talks about concepts that are hard to get in from the outset and definitely it is a book that needs to be read alongside listening; if that's what you're like but to get full access to the knowledge it consists of you definitely need to study it slowly and think about the equations and theories so that you help yourself gain access to the useful application thereof.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-18

Amazing book

I was always intrigued by AI and searched for foundational information on how an AI can be built ? Stumbled across this book which is quite frankly tackles the fundamental building block of AI
Computing to reasoning !
We are a long way off from achieving that
Excellent book!!! Loved every bit of it may be will get a hard copy for my collection