read: 13 February 2005
This was an otherwise inteersting book onthe nature of probabilities that was flawed in my opinion by too much math and not enough chatty anecdotes. The author is clearly a smart man who knows his stuff. Yet, a lot of times he would start explaining a phenomenon like the liklihood of finding two people in a room with the same birthday [whcih is over 50% if you have 23 or more people in the room, if I recall correctly] and then veer off into a complicated equation as an “answer” to is, assuming his readers are as facile with math as he is. This wasn’t a huge problem, but sometimes I’d really want to learn more about how a probability problem worked and find that in order to do that, I had to really start crunching some numbers. I’m even good at math but this was too much math for me in an otherwise sort of popular book. The appendix by Brad Johnson may easily be the most interesting part of the book in that it deals with gambling directly and has many more real-world exaples to draw from and much less math.
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