The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance
The Drunkard’s Walk – The Mathematics of Randomness” by physicist and one-time Star Trek writer Leonard Mlodinow provides an entertaining and thought-provoking read on probability, randomness and how it affects our day to day lives.
Read also reviews in the …
(1) WSJ Numbers Guy Interview: Leonard Mlodinow
(2) New York Times, Playing the Odds
(3) Guardian, The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
In The Drunkard’s Walk, 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.
Professor Mlodinow focuses on several of our illusions : the Illusion of causality, the illusion of small numbers – random errors from using small sample sizes. And the illusion of control – the unconscious or gut feeling that we have some control over random events.
Mlodinow looks at the real chances of what appear to be very unlikely occurrences such as winning streaks for sports teams.
Rare events are often more probable than we think and the secret to understanding this is to apreciate the laws of probability – something that many people have rarely come to terms with!
Mlodinow encourages us to take as many opportunities as we possibly can to enjoy randomness, and spend some time looking for innovative ways of improving our business even though the chances of success are low!
In the words of one of the founders of IBM, if you want to succeed, double your failure rate.
Enjoy the video!
What is Causality?
Read also : Law of Small Numbers | Are we looking for meaning in all the wrong places?
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The Triumph of the Random