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Michael Kaplan (2) (1959–)

Autor(a) de Chances Are: Adventures in Probability

Para outros autores com o nome Michael Kaplan, ver a página de desambiguação.

2 Works 570 Membros 32 Críticas

Obras por Michael Kaplan


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Kaplan, Ellen (mother)



The book had some interesting bits but I was not a fan of the overall set up. Parts of the book were very dry and I thought the first half of the book was far better than the second half. I thought I was getting a book about why bad decisions are made but mostly it was a few good stories and a little science. I like a good non-fiction book that teaches me things but I felt like I was slogging through the whole 2nd half of this book. It was about a 2 1/2 star for me/
cdaley | 22 outras críticas | Nov 2, 2023 |
why humans are prone to certain types of error in thinking
ritaer | 22 outras críticas | Aug 19, 2021 |
This book is made up of a lot of interesting case studies to reflect and deliver on the book's premise, but in the end I'm not sure what we are meant to 'do' with the various illustrations and examples other than to maybe try in our own ways to become more thoughtful, alert and logical, (which is noble after all). It is a well-researched text but, based on the writing style and breadth of information provided, I would venture to say that this book was meant to be flipped through and read at one's leisure rather than to be used as an in-depth study.… (mais)
irrelephant | 22 outras críticas | Feb 21, 2021 |
Done. Read it very carefully and slowly; tried hard to make sure I was understanding the authors' arguments closely. Again, it boils down to look at all the ways humans can err, but hey, sometimes it's a good thing we do because of stuff like serendipity, and besides we might make bad errors and good decisions more frequently if we realize that there are no absolutes or guarantees and we remain flexible & ready to own up to errors."

But the book is a mess, despite the chapter introductions, notes, etc. And my cognitive abilities have been (temporarily, I hope) corrupted enough that my review will be a mess. That is, I don't have the energy to edit. Read on only if you're brave. :)

About 1/2 way through, and so far so frustrating. The Kaplans are interested in the subject, and have done a lot of research, and seem to understand science fairly well. But they can't develop a consistent & coherent argument. A string of illustrations about why "we" can't save for retirement or why "we" are duped by advertisements for name-brands does not convince me that, um, wait a minute, what exactly am I supposed to be convinced of??

(They do say they hope readers to learn to "be wrong better" by "thinking probabilistically" - well ok then. Maybe they should've been political speechwriters.)

One example of illogic: p. 3 they use Carlo Cipolla's hypothesis that "stupidity" can be explained by categorizing humans into either "the helpless, the intelligent, the bandit, and the stupid" as an axiom. Um, hello, I don't think I need remind you what it means to assume - but I guess someone should have told the Kaplans.

One example of inconsistency: The Kaplan's devote a whole chapter to the dangers of categorizing people into us v. them. And in a next chapter they illustrate "We" express disgust at eating dog meat. But people in the Philippines say it's tasty. So, does that mean that Filipinos are 'them?' And are 'they' more evolved because they can get over their primal instinct of disgust and benefit from a easily grown source of protein?

(I do wish one of these books would explore more of the differences between people. "We" is a very lazy, imprecise, and inaccurate word.)

[b:Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error|7811050|Being Wrong Adventures in the Margin of Error|Kathryn Schulz||10822812] and [b:On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not|2740964|On Being Certain Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not|Robert A. Burton||2766617] were awfully darn similar. Yes, ok, humans are fallible, ok, so what. Reminds me of [b:Blink|40102|Blink|Malcolm Gladwell||1180927] and [b:Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do|2776527|Traffic Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)|Tom Vanderbilt||2802281] in the superficiality of the treatment of a fascinating field.

[b:Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions|1713426|Predictably Irrational The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions|Dan Ariely||3074803] is a somewhat better (as in more scientifically coherent) book. But I'd still love to read one that's actually authentically sensible.

Let me know if you want more specific examples of the inconsistencies & over-simplifications & leaps of logic, etc. Better yet, don't waste your time or mine with any of these books and just accept that none of us have as much control over our minds as we tend to assume, and that being aware of this is a good first step to living smarter.

Received as a giveaway/first-reads whatever. Not, however, an ARC.

… (mais)
Cheryl_in_CC_NV | 22 outras críticas | Jun 6, 2016 |

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