- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon (May 13, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375424040
- ISBN-13: 978-0375424045
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 436 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives Hardcover – May 13, 2008
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Amazon Guest Review: Stephen Hawking
Published in 1988, Stephen Hawkings A Brief History of Time became perhaps one of the unlikeliest bestsellers in history: a not-so-dumbed-down exploration of physics and the universe that occupied the London Sunday Times bestseller list for 237 weeks. Later successes include 1995s A Briefer History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs that Changed History. Stephen Hawking is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
From Publishers Weekly
A drunkard's walk is a type of random statistical distribution with important applications in scientific studies ranging from biology to astronomy. Mlodinow, a visiting lecturer at Caltech and coauthor with Stephen Hawking of A Briefer History of Time, leads readers on a walk through the hills and valleys of randomness and how it directs our lives more than we realize. Mlodinow introduces important historical figures such as Bernoulli, Laplace and Pascal, emphasizing their ideas rather than their tumultuous private lives. Mlodinow defines such tricky concepts as regression to the mean and the law of large numbers, which should help readers as they navigate the daily deluge of election polls and new studies on how to live to 100. The author also carefully avoids veering off into the terra incognita of chaos theory aside from a brief mention of the famous butterfly effect, although he might have spent a little more time on the equally famous n-body problem that led to chaos theory. Books on randomness and statistics line library shelves, but Mlodinow will help readers sort out Mark Twain's damn lies from meaningful statistics and the choices we face every day. (May 13)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I found chapter 9 to be particularly enlightening. Randomness is clearly a part of our lives and often is the source of major world events and trends. Most of us know this, but as the author points out, we try to organize random events so that they make sense and point to a direction. He uses examples of the stock market and the success/failure of new movies and books. There are countless people making a nice living trying to convince us that they see a pattern when in fact there is none. There are many more "hmmph, I didn't know that" points in the book, but If this is your only learning, it is a worthwhile use of your time and money.
The key takeaway to me is his paragraph in the last chapter - that by not giving up, we're able to increase the probability of success since it's under our control!
What I’ve learned, above all, is to keep marching forward because the best news is that since chance does play a role, one important factor in success is under our control: the number of at bats, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized. For even a coin weighted toward failure will sometimes land on success. Or as the IBM pioneer Thomas Watson said, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”
If this is how you feel, this book will explain why you are right, and if it is not how you feel, it might well change your mind. And even if it doesn't, it is an engrossing read, because it makes it clear how randomness, uncertainty and chance play a greater role in our lives than is generally recognized.
Most recent customer reviews
mathmatical ideas that require few minutes to mull over to...Read more