AKA Reading in 2013, entry 01. And I’m already a few books behind! This doesn’t bode well. But I’ve yet to be super consistent with this blog (I mean, just look at the dates). Here’s to trying anyway by blogging about my reading material.
1. The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow
This book is partly on randomness (in the sense of chance happenings), but is mostly a good primer on probability and a solid introduction to some logical fallacies that people commonly hold. I thought it was pretty interesting – Mlodinow sprinkles the teaching with amusing anecdotes and lots of history about how certain concepts were discovered or popularized. But I like that kind of thing (Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif is another very good example of that style). He also threw in some good explanations for certain baffling problems in probability/statistics, like the Monty Hall problem. Actually probably the best explanation of that particular conundrum that I’ve read. (For extra credit, read this by the Boy.) In any event, although this blurb is short, I really do think this book is worth reading. Even if you are vastly familiar with the basic ideas of probability and statistics, even if you are never fooled by logical fallacy, it’s a fun and quick read, and I’m sure you will learn or re-learn something.