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Laws of the Game : How the Principles of Nature Govern Chance ( Princeton Science Library ) Revised ed. Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691025667
ISBN-10: 0691025665
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating . . . has the character of the deepest sort of discussion among brilliant friends."--The New Yorker

"Remarkable, fascinating, and very profound."--The New York Times Book Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised ed. edition (March 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691025665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691025667
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,815,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Porter on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
The content is fantastic, and I'm incredibly glad I purchased this book (actually, it was a gift). I'm only about halfway through, but already have ideas for a few dozen applications I want to implement based on the information contained there. Always a dabbler in game theory, it's nice to have my understanding of it expanded beyond _The Evolution of Cooperation_.

My only complaint is that it is very difficult to read. Translated from the German, it lost something along the way. I find myself rereading sections again and again- and not just because it's a little above my level of expertise but also because the translation is a bit opaque.

That complaint though is minor. Excellent work, and I'm ready to start applying this to software projects.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This unique book, co-authored by a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, has (to my taste) two positive and two negative features. In writing about "chance in popular science", any author faces a problem: use words only (thereby being vague) or put in equations (thereby detering many readers). The unique feature of this book is the invention of a selection of games (in the format of beads on a board, with moves affected by die throws) designed to mimic aspects of science models. The point is that "dice and rules" is a good description for scientific modeling involving probability; writing out explicit rules for dice games makes this point very clearly, compared to other popular science books.

As well as brief verbal mentions of some of the usual "chance in popular science" topics (game theory; quantum theory; evolution and population genetics; entropy and thermodynamical equilibrium and Shannon information) they describe a number of much more specific scientific topics, centered around their own expertize in biochemical reactions and structure. These are interesting and less standard topics, and every reader will be rewarded by learning something new.

An apt description of the book's style comes from a New Yorker review: "Fascinating .... has the character of the deepest sort of discussion among brilliant friends". But to my taste this style has two defects. The first: half the book digresses away from their "hard science" expertize to discuss classical (Platonic solids, Goethe, Marxist dialectic) and 1970s-fashionable (Chomsky, Prigogine, catastrophe theory, "limits to economic growth", Popper's 3 worlds and Eccles neurobiology) intellectual theories, without much coherence.
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By Benjamin K. on February 24, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Insightful, profound, but not condescending.
It is quite dense, but I find myself reading little random bits at a time.
A technical book that has changed how I think of the world as a professional scientist.
I buy people copies as gifts. I wonder if they like them as much as I do.
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