Cover of: The Drunkard's Walk | Leonard Mlodinow

The Drunkard's Walk

How Randomness Rules Our Lives

Hardcover edition

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Published by Pantheon .
Written in English

About the Edition

In this irreverent and illuminating book, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, change, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious cases, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.The rise and fall of your favorite movie star of the most reviled CEO--in fact, of all our destinies--reflects as much as planning and innate abilities. Even the legendary Roger Maris, who beat Babe Ruth's single-season home run record, was in all likelihood not great but just lucky. And it might be shocking to realize that you are twice as likely to be killed in a car accident on your way to buying a lottery ticket than you are to win the lottery.How could it have happened that a wine was given five out of five stars, the highest rating, in one journal and in another it was called the worst wine of the decade? Mlodinow vividly demonstrates how 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 change 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 readers 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 fresh from a night at the bar. (From the Hardcover edition.)

First Sentence

A few years ago a man won the Spanish national lottery with a ticket that ended in the number 48.

Table of Contents

Prologue ix
1 Peering through the Eyepiece of Randomness 3
2 The Laws of Truths and Half-Truths 31
3 Finding Your Way through a Space of Possibilities 41
4 Tracking the Pathways to Success 60
5 The Dueling Laws of Large and Small Numbers 81
6 False Positives and Positive Fallacies 104
7 Measurement and the Law of Error 124
8 The Order of Chaos 146
9 Illusions of Patterns and Patterns of Illusion 169
10 The Drunkard's Walk 192
Acknowledgements 221
Notes 223
Index 239


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January 19, 2020 Edited by Swakrta Found eight other editions of this work that were listed as not in the Open Library. Trying my first merge
December 13, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
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April 30, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Imported from record.