Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
An excellent analysis of the history of Randomness
on 30 July 2010
As an unlikely (but still possible) opening event to my contact with this book, I reveived it through the mail from Amazon without having ordered it and with no invoice. Having read it I was suitably impressed with it's historical accuracy, depth, and interesting viewpoint. Indeed, randomess is an aspect of scientific theory that experimentation's biggest challenge is dialing out. We have always been taught to try and avoid it as vehemently as possible in order to deepen the trust we bear on our randomness-free research results. Mlodinow's whole viewpoint is one of understanding randomness and tailoring our understanding to embrace it rather than avoid it, and as such it offers an enriched and amusing new perspective on the application of modern scientific method, and life in general.
As a beautiful side-effect of reading this book, you'll:
1) Stop trusting or believing bankers, hi-risk investors, market analysts or people who predict anything related to systems which aren't rigidly understood (financial markets, success of the film industry, fashion).
2) Realize there is so little correlation between which team is superior and which team wins the game that you'll practically lose interest in any kind of sporting contest which involves randomness-prone factors (namely people).
3) Learn to question the potential of false-positives whenever confronted by a member of the medical profession concerning any bad news you're given, particualrly when dealing with extreme cases of numerical disparity. This is not a criticsm towards doctors; more a statement that their understnding of statistics is lacking. (And understandably so, there's enough medicine for them to learn without teaching them statistics too)
An excellent book with almost no scientific background required. Easy to read through, very little bias in ideology or viewpoint, with plenty of highly informative examples from antiquity to the modern days. A must buy.
Alternatively, you can trust in wild chance to make one literally fall into your lap, like I did. Such is the nature of randomness!