From economic disaster to Supreme Court rulings, pure randomness may explain life's outcomes more than we realize. Mlodinow proposes that we tend to overestimate the control we have over our destinies. The best-selling author explains how a better understanding of statistics might bring hope to a nation facing an onslaught of misfortune.
Physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow explores the extraordinary extent to which randomness, chance and probability influence and shape our work and everyday lives. Mlodinow was a writer for the television series MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation and co-author with Stephen Hawking of the recent best-seller The Grand Design.
Best-selling author and physicist Leonard Mlodinow discusses past studies on the illusion of control in one's environment. Mlodinow presents studies that support the idea that "the need for control is subtle and it’s much deeper than your conscious thought processes."
Best-selling author and physicist Leonard Mlodinow discusses the ways that the power of expectation applies to wine. Red dye can deceive even the most experienced connoisseur, and a false $10 price tag on a $90 bottle of wine can manipulate a test subject's reaction.
Branch of mathematics that deals with analysis of random events. Probability is the numerical assessment of likelihood on a scale from 0 (impossibility) to 1 (absolute certainty). Probability is usually expressed as the ratio between the number of ways an event can happen and the total number of things that can happen (e.g., there are 13 ways of picking a diamond from a deck of 52 cards, so the probability of picking a diamond is 1352, or 14). Probability theory grew out of attempts to understand card games and gambling. As science became more rigorous, analogies between certain biological, physical, and social phenomena and games of chance became more evident (e.g., the sexes of newborn infants follow sequences similar to those of coin tosses). As a result, probability became a fundamental tool of modern genetics and many other disciplines. Probability theory is also the basis of the insurance industry, in the form of actuarial statistics.
I~ve read this book last year and purchased 25 to give as Christmas presents to my friends. This is one of the most oudstanding books I've ever read on the subject. As Mlodinow wrote, our human brain has not been developed in evolutionary terms to understand ehat chance might be. Mlodinow does explain in a very clear way probability concepts withou the common mathematics notations unfamiliar to those not coping with math concepts.
Everyone should include it on his/her reading list.
Physicist to screenwriter to game producer to bestselling author? Wow, what a bio this guy has!
I've also got reservations about the white vs red tests, although I could see how the white / rose test could work. Might a fun theory to try out on some friends...
This is actually how Napa wines got their good reputation. They were regarded as inferior until they beat French wines in a blind tasting. However, I agree with the general assessment that no way anybody would be confused about white v. red.
@Rdallas1 - I agree. White wine and red wine have very distinctive tastes. Red wine is usually a lot heavier and I doubt that food coloring would be able to deceive your taste buds.
@pokerandwine - I once had a bad experience with really cheap wine and have been leaning towards $15-20 bottled wines. But I have been informed that there are really nice cheap bottled wine that goes down just as smooth as the more expensive ones. Unless you are a wine connoisseur and know what region/how long it has been aged/etc about the bottle, I am not sure if it is really worth getting a $50+ bottle of wine.
I agree with 8:30dreamer, I find it really hard to believe that a wine connoisseur would not be able to tell the difference of white vs. red when dyed. However, I agree with pokerandwine that price sometimes does not matter when the labels are off. My sister once entered a wine contest and brought her $5 Beringer white zin and actually won out of other more expensive wines. Many people prefer the taste of the affordable wines over the more expensive ones.