Book picks similar to
Quantum Social Science by Emmanuel Haven
Tell Me The Odds: A 15 Page Introduction To Bayes Theorem
Scott Hartshorn - 2017
Essentially, you make an initial guess, and then get more data to improve it. Bayes Theorem, or Bayes Rule, has a ton of real world applications, from estimating your risk of a heart attack to making recommendations on Netflix But It Isn't That Complicated This book is a short introduction to Bayes Theorem. It is only 15 pages long, and is intended to show you how Bayes Theorem works as quickly as possible. The examples are intentionally kept simple to focus solely on Bayes Theorem without requiring that the reader know complicated probability distributions. If you want to learn the basics of Bayes Theorem as quickly as possible, with some easy to duplicate examples, this is a good book for you.
Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin
Lawrence Weinstein - 2008
More and more leading businesses today use estimation questions in interviews to test applicants' abilities to think on their feet. Guesstimation enables anyone with basic math and science skills to estimate virtually anything--quickly--using plausible assumptions and elementary arithmetic. Lawrence Weinstein and John Adam present an eclectic array of estimation problems that range from devilishly simple to quite sophisticated and from serious real-world concerns to downright silly ones. How long would it take a running faucet to fill the inverted dome of the Capitol? What is the total length of all the pickles consumed in the US in one year? What are the relative merits of internal-combustion and electric cars, of coal and nuclear energy? The problems are marvelously diverse, yet the skills to solve them are the same. The authors show how easy it is to derive useful ballpark estimates by breaking complex problems into simpler, more manageable ones--and how there can be many paths to the right answer. The book is written in a question-and-answer format with lots of hints along the way. It includes a handy appendix summarizing the few formulas and basic science concepts needed, and its small size and French-fold design make it conveniently portable. Illustrated with humorous pen-and-ink sketches, Guesstimation will delight popular-math enthusiasts and is ideal for the classroom.
Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory
Neil Johnson - 2007
Using it, scientists can find order emerging from seemingly random interactions of all kinds, from something as simple as flipping coins through to more challenging problems such as the patterns in modern jazz, the growth of cancer tumours, and predicting shopping habits.
Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time
Huw Price - 1996
Price begins with the mystery of the arrow of time. Why, for example, does disorder always increase, as required by the second law of thermodynamics? Price shows that, for over a century, most physicists have thought about these problems the wrong way. Misled by the human perspective from within time, which distorts and exaggerates the differences between past and future, they have fallen victim to what Price calls the "double standard fallacy": proposed explanations of the difference between the past and the future turn out to rely on a difference which has been slipped in at the beginning, when the physicists themselves treat the past and future in different ways. To avoid this fallacy, Price argues, we need to overcome our natural tendency to think about the past and the future differently. We need to imagine a point outside time -- an Archimedean "view from nowhen" -- from which to observe time in an unbiased way. Offering a lively criticism of many major modern physicists, including Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking, Price shows that this fallacy remains common in physics today -- for example, when contemporary cosmologists theorize about the eventual fate of the universe. The "big bang" theory normally assumes that the beginning and end of the universe will be very different. But if we are to avoid the double standard fallacy, we need to consider time symmetrically, and take seriously the possibility that the arrow of time may reverse when the universe recollapses into a "big crunch." Price then turns to the greatest mystery of modern physics, the meaning of quantum theory. He argues that in missing the Archimedean viewpoint, modern physics has missed a radical and attractive solution to many of the apparent paradoxes of quantum physics. Many consequences of quantum theory appear counterintuitive, such as Schrodinger's Cat, whose condition seems undetermined until observed, and Bell's Theorem, which suggests a spooky "nonlocality," where events happening simultaneously in different places seem to affect each other directly. Price shows that these paradoxes can be avoided by allowing that at the quantum level the future does, indeed, affect the past. This demystifies nonlocality, and supports Einstein's unpopular intuition that quantum theory describes an objective world, existing independently of human observers: the Cat is alive or dead, even when nobody looks. So interpreted, Price argues, quantum mechanics is simply the kind of theory we ought to have expected in microphysics -- from the symmetric standpoint.Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. In this exciting book, Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the mysteries of time to look at the world from the fresh perspective of Archimedes' Point and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, the universe around us, and our own place in time.
The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction
David Orrell - 2006
He asks how today's scientists can claim to predict future climate events when even three-day forecasts prove a serious challenge. Can we predict and control epidemics? Can we accurately foresee our financial future? Or will we only find out about tomorrow when tomorrow arrives?
The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life
Michael Blastland - 2008
Drawing on their hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show More or Less,, journalist Michael Blastland and internationally known economist Andrew Dilnot delight, amuse, and convert American mathphobes by showing how our everyday experiences make sense of numbers. The radical premise of The Numbers Game is to show how much we already know, and give practical ways to use our knowledge to become cannier consumers of the media. In each concise chapter, the authors take on a different theme—such as size, chance, averages, targets, risk, measurement, and data—and present it as a memorable and entertaining story. If you’ve ever wondered what “average” really means, whether the scare stories about cancer risk should convince you to change your behavior, or whether a story you read in the paper is biased (and how), you need this book. Blastland and Dilnot show how to survive and thrive on the torrent of numbers that pours through everyday life. It’s the essential guide to every cause you love or hate, and every issue you follow, in the language everyone uses.
The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty
Sam L. Savage - 2009
As the recent collapse on Wall Street shows, we are often ill-equipped to deal with uncertainty and risk. Yet every day we base our personal and business plans on uncertainties, whether they be next month's sales, next year's costs, or tomorrow's stock price. In The Flaw of Averages, Sam Savage-known for his creative exposition of difficult subjects- describes common avoidable mistakes in assessing risk in the face of uncertainty. Along the way, he shows why plans based on average assumptions are wrong, on average, in areas as diverse as healthcare, accounting, the War on Terror, and climate change. In his chapter on Sex and the Central Limit Theorem, he bravely grasps the literary third rail of gender differences.Instead of statistical jargon, Savage presents complex concepts in plain English. In addition, a tightly integrated web site contains numerous animations and simulations to further connect the seat of the reader's intellect to the seat of their pants.The Flaw of Averages typically results when someone plugs a single number into a spreadsheet to represent an uncertain future quantity. Savage finishes the book with a discussion of the emerging field of Probability Management, which cures this problem though a new technology that can pack thousands of numbers into a single spreadsheet cell.Praise for The Flaw of Averages"Statistical uncertainties are pervasive in decisions we make every day in business, government, and our personal lives. Sam Savage's lively and engaging book gives any interested reader the insight and the tools to deal effectively with those uncertainties. I highly recommend The Flaw of Averages." --William J. Perry, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense"Enterprise analysis under uncertainty has long been an academic ideal. . . . In this profound and entertaining book, Professor Savage shows how to make all this practical, practicable, and comprehensible." ---Harry Markowitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics
The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity
Stefan Klein - 2006
“We are all taking part in a giant experiment in dealing with time,” Klein writes-and his aim with this book is to help us each to understand “the degree to which our experience of time hinges on our outlook on life.” With his journalist’s unerring eye for the telling detail, Stefan Klein effortlessly combines original investigation and reportage, personal revelation, and a wide-ranging, commanding presentation of scientific research among disciplines including brain physiology, social psychology, philosophy, and Einsteinian physics-with the goal of guiding us not only to better master time but also to understand why we so often fail to do so. Woven into his narrative are dozens of practical ways to make sense of and gain control over time, including: How not to lose your head when a deadline is quickly approaching How the present becomes a memory-and vice versa How to attune to your inner clock for more productive, satisfying days How to avoid becoming worn out by the fast tempo of modern life Popular science at its very best, The Secret Pulse of Time awakens us to and empowers us with the idea that time is far more at our disposal than we have ever before realized.
No bullshit guide to math and physics
Ivan Savov - 2010
It shouldn't be like that. Learning calculus without mechanics is incredibly boring. Learning mechanics without calculus is missing the point. This textbook integrates both subjects and highlights the profound connections between them.This is the deal. Give me 350 pages of your attention, and I'll teach you everything you need to know about functions, limits, derivatives, integrals, vectors, forces, and accelerations. This book is the only math book you'll need for the first semester of undergraduate studies in science.With concise, jargon-free lessons on topics in math and physics, each section covers one concept at the level required for a first-year university course. Anyone can pick up this book and become proficient in calculus and mechanics, regardless of their mathematical background.Visit http://minireference.com for more details.
The Magic of Math: Solving for X and Figuring Out Why
Arthur T. Benjamin - 2015
joyfully shows you how to make nature's numbers dance."--Bill Nye (the science guy)The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples-from ice-cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares-this book revels in key mathematical fields including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and calculus, plus Fibonacci numbers, infinity, and, of course, mathematical magic tricks. Known throughout the world as the "mathemagician," Arthur Benjamin mixes mathematics and magic to make the subject fun, attractive, and easy to understand for math fan and math-phobic alike."A positively joyful exploration of mathematics."-Publishers Weekly, starred review"Each [trick] is more dazzling than the last."-Physics World
The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Models of Competition and Collaboration
Robert Axelrod - 1991
He is a leader in applying computer modeling to social science problems. His book The Evolution of Cooperation has been hailed as a seminal contribution and has been translated into eight languages since its initial publication. The Complexity of Cooperation is a sequel to that landmark book. It collects seven essays, originally published in a broad range of journals, and adds an extensive new introduction to the collection, along with new prefaces to each essay and a useful new appendix of additional resources. Written in Axelrod's acclaimed, accessible style, this collection serves as an introductory text on complexity theory and computer modeling in the social sciences and as an overview of the current state of the art in the field. The articles move beyond the basic paradigm of the Prisoner's Dilemma to study a rich set of issues, including how to cope with errors in perception or implementation, how norms emerge, and how new political actors and regions of shared culture can develop. They use the shared methodology of agent-based modeling, a powerful technique that specifies the rules of interaction between individuals and uses computer simulation to discover emergent properties of the social system. The Complexity of Cooperation is essential reading for all social scientists who are interested in issues of cooperation and complexity.
How Math Explains the World: A Guide to the Power of Numbers, from Car Repair to Modern Physics
James D. Stein - 2008
In the four main sections of the book, Stein tells the stories of the mathematical thinkers who discerned some of the most fundamental aspects of our universe. From their successes and failures, delusions, and even duels, the trajectories of their innovations—and their impact on society—are traced in this fascinating narrative. Quantum mechanics, space-time, chaos theory and the workings of complex systems, and the impossibility of a "perfect" democracy are all here. Stein's book is both mind-bending and practical, as he explains the best way for a salesman to plan a trip, examines why any thought you could have is imbedded in the number π , and—perhaps most importantly—answers one of the modern world's toughest questions: why the garage can never get your car repaired on time.Friendly, entertaining, and fun, How Math Explains the World is the first book by one of California's most popular math teachers, a veteran of both "math for poets" and Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies. And it's perfect for any reader wanting to know how math makes both science and the world tick.
The Rediscovery of the Mind (Representation and Mind)
John Rogers Searle - 1992
More than anything else, he argues, it is the neglect of consciousness that results in so much barrenness and sterility in psychology, the philosophy of mind, and cognitive science: there can be no study of mind that leaves out consciousness. What is going on in the brain is neurophysiological processes and consciousness and nothing more -- no rule following, no mental information processing or mental models, no language of thought, and no universal grammar. Mental events are themselves features of the brain, "like liquidity is a feature of water."Beginning with a spirited discussion of what's wrong with the philosophy of mind, Searle characterizes and refutes the philosophical tradition of materialism. But he does not embrace dualism. All these "isms" are mistaken, he insists. Once you start counting types of substance you are on the wrong track, whether you stop at one or two. In four chapters that constitute the heart of his argument, Searle elaborates a theory of consciousness and its relation to our overall scientific world view and to unconscious mental phenomena. He concludes with a criticism of cognitive science and a proposal for an approach to studying the mind that emphasizes the centrality of consciousness to any account of mental functioning.In his characteristically direct style, punctuated with persuasive examples, Searle identifies the very terminology of the field as the main source of truth. He observes that it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective and to suppose that the methodology of a science of the mind must concern itself only with objectively observable behavior; that it is also a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behavior; that behavior or causal relations to behavior are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena; and that it is inconsistent with what we know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us.
The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time: A Proposal in Natural Philosophy
Roberto Mangabeira Unger - 2014
The more we discover, the more puzzling the universe appears to be. How and why are the laws of nature what they are? A philosopher and a physicist, world-renowned for their radical ideas in their fields, argue for a revolution. To keep cosmology scientific, we must replace the old view in which the universe is governed by immutable laws by a new one in which laws evolve. Then we can hope to explain them. The revolution that Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin propose relies on three central ideas. There is only one universe at a time. Time is real: everything in the structure and regularities of nature changes sooner or later. Mathematics, which has trouble with time, is not the oracle of nature and the prophet of science; it is simply a tool with great power and immense limitations. The argument is readily accessible to non-scientists as well as to the physicists and cosmologists whom it challenges.
Access Denied: For Reasons of National Security
Cathy O'Brien - 2004
This book is an amazing testament to the strength of the human spirit and one you will never forget for as long as your thoughts remain free.While TRANCE has become known worldwide in many licensed translations as one of the most successful US government whistleblowers' books ever written, it was never intended for the public who had no reference for understanding mind control nor was it to be considered a book. Rather it is what it is, a true and to date uncontested document for the US Congressional Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Oversight. TRANCE is Cathy O'Brien's documented testimony she provided to US courts, US Congress, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Abuses of her existence as a CIA MK-Ultra mind control project's slave.ACCESS DENIED is a real book of answers, solutions and positive hope for all of u.s. and our allies around the world. This book was written for everyone and especially for the thousands who have read TRANCE and were left to imagine pertinent details that could not be included. How did Cathy recover from being tortured "out of her mind" until age 30 when intelligence insider Mark Phillips triggered and rescued her and her daughter Kelly away from their CIA operative handler? What are the documented details of how Mark & Cathy survived the state and federal and Congressional judicial gristmill aptly called the criminal justice system? Last but not least, what are the facts as to how Mark & Cathy were able to survive long enough to globally expose the criminal acts of some of the most politically powerful people who are still in control of our planet to this very day?ACCESS DENIED is a whistleblowers' living guide to success.