The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

Leonard Mlodinow, Pantheon Books, 2008, 272 p., $24.95.

By Elizabeth Quill, 09:32 AM July 18, 2008

People like to think they understand their world. They seek explanations for things that go well and excuses for failures. “To swim against the current of human intuition is a difficult task,” Mlodinow notes.

In this guide to randomness, he explores how people misunderstand the power of praise and punishment, hot and cold career streaks, and the luck in the lottery, all because of a misunderstanding of the influence of chance.

But not to worry. Mlodinow provides lessons on what...

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