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The Improbability Principle

This is an excellent book. It is extremely well written. It fits well with “Black Swan” and “Thinking fast and slow” in importantly making us aware of underlying statistical considerations in interpreting coincidence, clusters,  extreme value or apparently extremely low probability events. The author gathers these considerations under the “improbability principle” and through real examples and instructive toy examples beautifully explains very important biases and limitations. He provides helpful labels such: “law of truly large numbers”, “laws of selection”, :law of probability leverage”  covering topics such as: hindsight bias, lead time bias, base rate fallacy, prosecutots fallacy, the effects of fat tailed distributions.

I enjoyed this book and sadly (but wonderfully) it exposed some of my own hidden biases and misconceptions. It is always good to be shaken out of complacent lazy and convenient thinking.

 

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Categories: books, Mathematics
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