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Drunkard's Walk How Randomness Rules Our Lives

ISBN-10: 0307275175

ISBN-13: 9780307275172

Edition: 2009

Authors: Leonard Mlodinow

List price: $16.95
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Description:

In this irreverent and illuminating book, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, change, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious cases, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance. The rise and fall of your favorite movie star of the most reviled CEO--in fact, of all our destinies--reflects as much as planning and innate abilities. Even the legendary Roger Maris, who beat Babe Ruth's single-season home run record, was in all likelihood not great but just lucky. And it might be shocking to realize that you are twice as likely to be killed in a car accident on your way to buying a lottery ticket than you are to win the lottery. How could it have happened that a wine was given five out of five stars, the highest rating, in one journal and in another it was called the worst wine of the decade? Mlodinow vividly demonstrates how wine ratings, school grades, political polls, and many other things in daily life are less reliable than we believe. By showing us the true nature of change and revealing the psychological illusions that cause us to misjudge the world around us, Mlodinow gives fresh insight into what is really meaningful and how we can make decisions based on a deeper truth. From the classroom to the courtroom, from financial markets to supermarkets, from the doctor's office to the Oval Office, Mlodinow's insights will intrigue, awe, and inspire. Offering readers not only a tour of randomness, chance, and probability but also a new way of looking at the world, this original, unexpected journey reminds us that much in our lives is about as predictable as the steps of a stumbling man fresh from a night at the bar. From the Hardcover edition.
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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/5/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

Leonard Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. He received bachelor's degrees in math and physics and a master's degree in physics from Brandeis University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Bantrell Research Fellow in Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, and then became an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany. In the 1980s, he wrote for numerous television shows including MacGyver, Star Trek: the Next Generation, and Night Court. In 1993, he decided to switch to computer gaming and became producer, executive producer and designer of several award-winning games. From 1997 to 2003, he was the vice president for software development and then vice president and publisher for math education at Scholastic Inc. In 2005, he began teaching at the California Institute of Technology. He is now a full-time writer. His books include Euclid's Window, Feynman's Rainbow, A Briefer History of Time with Stephen Hawking, The Drunkard's Walk, The Grand Design with Stephen Hawking, and War of the Worldviews with Deepak Chopra. He has also written two children's books with Matt Costello: The Last Dinosaur and Titanic Cat.