Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
A random selection of open doors.
on 29 September 2016
I shouldn't have read it. But I read on, and after the acknowledgments I gave up. It leaves the following impressions
- author did not seem to take the trouble to provide facts (numbers) aside from bad quotes from books he has read, better to just read the books referenced where the wording surely is clearer.
- author either does not understand conditional probability himself, or, if he does, he does a terrible job of explaining. I have a maths university degree in probability but most of the time I had to re-read sentences what the author exactly meant.
- The points the author brought to the table, for example the fact the signals were not interpreted before the pearl harbor attack - would be served with what the noise was, then.
- The story of the old lady and the renter was new, but to try to use conditional probability and how it was applied, bad idea. The correct underlying theory is survival rate (hazard rate etc), so please say what you mean. An old lady having proven that she survived 80 years has a higher chance of reaching 110 than anyone younger. Would be better to provide both mortality rates. Same for some courtroom examples mentioned.
- it is endearing to see how the author struggles time and time again to describe in words what the unnamed formula represents, and how he fails, because takes so many words that the goal is overshot. Conditional probability is counter-intuitive, and it simply, ehm, takes time to understand.
- the best test was to let 2 students hand in an identical paper and voila, they get graded differently.
- book has no actionable advice how to see Randomness _when_ it tries to rule our life. Or how to apply at stock market.
- it could be read as a highschool essay, and now wonder why the author corrected the paper of his son and got a C (=fail), oh i get that now ;-)
- the book starts and ends with some story about concentration camps, why do Jews always need to bring that up. Non jews never feel the need to do that.
Finally let me save you the trouble of reading with this:
1. Life is random. Random how, is unknown. Your achievements are partly based on luck, and how partly is also unknown. So get out more often.
2. By some Brownian motion there is a chance you land on top, so do it more often.
3. do not apply large sample probabilities on your one-time event. AKA just buy that lottery ticket!
4. Every graph or scoring shown by journalists or teachers is far less precise than they think. Ignore both.
There! Saves you reading 250 pages.