Drunkard’s Walk

The Drunkard’s Walk
by Leonard Mlodinow

With the born storyteller’s command of narrative and imaginative approach, Leonard Mlodinow vividly demonstrates how our lives are profoundly informed by chance and randomness and how everything from wine ratings and corporate success to school grades and political polls are less reliable than we believe.

By showing us the true nature of chance and revealing the psychological illusions that cause us to misjudge the world around us, Mlodinow gives us the tools we need to make more informed decisions. From the classroom to the courtroom and from financial markets to supermarkets, Mlodinow’s intriguing and illuminating look at how randomness, chance, and probability affect our daily lives will intrigue, awe, and inspire.

 

From the Trade Paperback edition.


Subliminal
by Leonard Mlodinow

In this book the author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), gives us an examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions, and misremember important events. Your preference in politicians, the amount you tip your waiter, all judgments and perceptions reflect the workings of our mind on two levels: the conscious, of which we are aware, and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. The latter has long been the subject of speculation, but over the past two decades researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the hidden, or subliminal, workings of the mind. The result of this explosion of research is a new science of the unconscious and a sea change in our understanding of how the subliminal mind affects the way we live. Employing accessible explanations of the most obscure scientific subjects, the author takes us on a tour of this research, unraveling the complexities of the subliminal self and increasing our understanding of how the human mind works and how we interact with friends, strangers, spouses, and coworkers. In the process he changes our view of ourselves and the world around us.

Euclid’s Window
by Leonard Mlodinow

Through Euclid’s Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space — in the living room or in some other galaxy — have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.

Based on Mlodinow’s extensive historical research; his studies alongside colleagues such as Richard Feynman and Kip Thorne; and interviews with leading physicists and mathematicians such as Murray Gell-Mann, Edward Witten, and Brian Greene, Euclid’s Window is an extraordinary blend of rigorous, authoritative investigation and accessible, good-humored storytelling that makes a stunningly original argument asserting the primacy of geometry. For those who have looked through Euclid’s Window, no space, no thing, and no time will ever be quite the same.


The Upright Thinkers
by Leonard Mlodinow

“Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a passionate and inspiring tour through the exciting history of human progress and the key events in the development of science. In the process, he presents a fascinating new look at the unique characteristics of our species and our society that helped propel us from stone tools to written language and through the birth of chemistry, biology, and modern physics to today’s technological world. Along the way he explores the cultural conditions that influenced scientific thought through the ages and the colorful personalities of some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers: Galileo, who preferred painting and poetry to medicine and dropped out of university; Isaac Newton, who stuck needlelike bodkins into his eyes to better understand changes in light and color; and Antoine Lavoisier, who drank nothing but milk for two weeks to examine its effects on his body. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, and many lesser-known but equally brilliant minds also populate these pages, each of their stories showing how much of human achievement can be attributed to the stubborn pursuit of simple questions (Why? How?), bravely asked.”–Publisher’s Web site.

Fooled by Randomness
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fooled by Randomness is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are The Black Swan, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Fooled by Randomness is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb–veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan–has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill.

This book is about luck–or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill–the world of trading–Fooled by Randomness provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining narrative style, the author tackles major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives.

The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: the baseball legend Yogi Berra; the philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper; the ancient world’s wisest man, Solon; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Odysseus. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

However, the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed–the lucky fool who happens to be in the right place at the right time–he embodies the “survival of the least fit.” Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru’s insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained by chance.

Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the goddess Fortuna, but after reading Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.

Named by Fortune One of the Smartest Books of All Time

A Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year


Dance with Chance
by Spyros Makridakis, Robin Hogarth, Anil Gaba

“Written by true experts. Informative yet so much fun to read!” Nassim Nicholas Taleb – author of The Black Swan “Easy-to-digest and highly competent. If everyone were to read this book, the world would become a more enlightened place.” Gerd Gigerenzer – author of Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconsious Uneasy with how chance determines a huge part of our lives, we try to control what cannot be controlled and predict what cannot be predicted. It’s a self-delusion that can have serious consequences for our personal finances, careers, happiness and health. Dance with Chance explains how we all fall foul of this “Illusion of Control.” Fortunately, when we understand how luck operates, we can lessen its ill effects. By learning when to cede control over certain aspects of our life, paradoxically, we gain more control. By making small changes to our lifestyle, we can make a huge difference to the things that matter to us. From simple investment strategies to warning against health screenings, the authors offer revolutionary and often counterintuitive advice to make luck work for you. You’ll find out why millions of deaths are caused each year by medical negligence and why a billionaire is no happier than an Eskimo. You’ll discover why no-one predicted the worst financial crisis since the great depression and what makes a sports star. Updated to include the latest happenings in the credit crunch and informed by the latest findings in psychology and statistics, Dance with Chance is an essential guide to navigating the uncertain world in which we live. Spyros Makridakis is Distinguished Research Professor at INSEAD, Abu Dhabi Centre and a former Greek Olympian. Robin M. Hogarth is ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. He was formerly a professor at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.

Chances Are . . .
by Michael Kaplan, Ellen Kaplan

A compelling journey through history, mathematics, and philosophy, charting humanity’s struggle against randomness

Our lives are played out in the arena of chance. However little we recognize it in our day-to-day existence, we are always riding the odds, seeking out certainty but settling—reluctantly—for likelihood, building our beliefs on the shadowy props of probability. Chances Are is the story of man’s millennia-long search for the tools to manage the recurrent but unpredictable—to help us prevent, or at least mitigate, the seemingly random blows of disaster, disease, and injustice. In these pages, we meet the brilliant individuals who developed the first abstract formulations of probability, as well as the intrepid visionaries who recognized their practical applications—from gamblers to military strategists to meteorologists to medical researchers, from blackjack to our own mortality.


A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government
by Nakae Chomin

A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government takes the form of a debate between a spokesman for Western ideals of democracy and progress, and an advocate for adherence to traditional samurai values. Their discussion is moderated by the imperturbable Master Nankai, who loves nothing more than to drink and argue politics. The fiction of the drinking bout allowed Chomin to debate freely topical political issues, in a discussion that offers an astute analysis of contemporary European politics and a prophetic vision of Japan’s direction. This lucid and precise translation of a delightful work has been designated one of the UNESCO series of classics of world literature.

Friend of Sinners
by Rich Wilkerson Jr.

Pastor and writer Rich Wilkerson Jr. shines a spotlight on every Christian’s calling to reach the world, seek the lost, and save sinners with Jesus’ scandalous message of the gospel of grace.

The Bible calls Jesus a friend of sinners. What does that mean? In Friend of Sinners, Rich Wilkerson Jr. shows readers the profound implications of the reality that Jesus calls us friends not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who he is. While he was on earth, he knew that people needed to belong before they would want to behave. He understood that the power within him was greater than the darkness around him, so he loved fearlessly.

By following his example, we can have the same clear conviction and compassion for the lost that he did. His gospel of scandalous grace cannot be overestimated. When we embrace the truth that we all need Jesus equally and when we trust him to bring transformation in people’s hearts, we will walk as Jesus walked, experiencing the glory of God in our own lives and in the lives of those around us.



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