Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing & Outwitting Almost Everybody

William Poundstone. Little, Brown, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-22806-0
In this intriguing and immensely useful volume, Poundstone (Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?) examines how to outguess and outwit others in order to more accurately guess the outcomes of a variety of situations. In the first half of the tome, Poundstone examines those kinds of scenarios that are seemingly ruled by randomness—winning the lottery, guessing computer passwords, outwitting Ponzi schemes , and even besting other players in the childhood playground game from which this tome takes its name. But, he cautions, what seems to be random may be anything but. Quoting the mid-20th-century philosopher Hans Reichenbach, Poundstone notes that “‘persons not acquainted with mathematics... are astonished at the clustering that occurs’ in a true random sequence.” In the book’s second half, the author explores the idea of the “hot hand” theory, which posits that winning streaks are predictable. In that context, he explores such things as how to get the better of office football pools and how to outguess the stock market while offering educated strategies for coming out the victor in these situations. For anyone wanting to turn most of life’s odds in their favor, this is a solid, enjoyable read. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 06/03/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-3606-2
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-316-22808-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-3142-6
Open Ebook - 163 pages - 978-0-316-29520-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-316-22805-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4915-3118-1
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