Friday, January 2, 2009
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
by Leonard Mlodinow
Awesome little non-fiction book about statistics and randomness, one of my favorite topics.
Here is an example known as the Monty Hall problem.
Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what's behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, "Do you want to pick door No. 2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?
If you went to the link you will see it is to your advantage to switch as you will win twice as often.
This book goes through the history of randomness and clarifies it with modern examples. Great stuff.
I am also a third the way through Quicksilver of the Baroque Cycle.