Key insights into how probability affects our lives by one of Britain's leading science writers.
This book gives everyone access to the power of probability. Everyone who's had to get to grips with chance - whether as professors, doctors, patients, publishers, gamblers, researchers, retailers, bankers or shoppers - knows how tricky even its simplest manifestations can be. Its workings are a constant challenge to common sense, and at once its danger and its allure. Few subjects are so fascinating and profound, nor so relevant to everyday existence.
Robert Matthews uses real-life cases to demonstrate different facets of the laws of probability. He shows just how huge their reach can be and that understanding how they work can change our view of a host of everyday phenomena as well as saving us a great deal of time, money and anxiety. By the end of the book, readers will have discovered scores of really useful things, including:
- how to understand and even predict coincidences - when an insurance policy is worth having, and when it's just a rip-off - how to judge a health recommendation as worth following or just a scare - why flex and fishing lines get tangled up - and how to cure the problem - when a scientific claim is a breakthrough or baloney - how to make an investment so as to maximise the return - the secrets of the Golden Rule of Gambling which reveal precisely when a bet can be justified and when it cannot - Dr Matthews' Laws of Improbability, which show how to spot false claims and dodgy statistics
The chances are this will be one of the most valuable books you've ever read.
Robert Matthews is a Visiting Professor at Aston University, specialising in the mathematics of chance and uncertainty. His research on issues ranging from the prediction of coincidences to methods for turning evidence into insight has been published in many leading journals, including Nature and The Lancet. He is also an award-winning science writer, Science Consultant to BBC Focus and a former specialist correspondent with The Times and Sunday Telegraph. www.robertmatthews.org