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Not as coherent as I had hoped
on 24 December 2016
There were interesting nuggets in this book but I was left with an uneasy feeling that at the end I didn't understand what is the Principle of improbability nor what some of the various Laws actually stated.
So far as the main principle is concerned, does it actually say anything more than that some things are less improbable than they seem at first sight? This pales into insignificance compared with a principle such as the Uncertainty Principle.
The Laws are quite a rag bag. The Laws of Large Numbers and of Truly Large Numbers gave real insights derived from his expertise in probability, though a more thorough discussion, of why truly large numbers may be smaller than large numbers, would have helped. On the other hand the Law of Selection seems to be just a heuristic for weeding out false claims. Its relationship to Darwinian Natural Selection is tenuous; and his first example, explaining why some hypothetical insects migrate in response to a changing climate, is not an example of evolution at all.
Actually, I thought he was a bit short of material, and his subject does not justify a whole book. As a whole, it is a bit lightweight. But if you don't expect too much, it is a good read.