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The Drunkard’s Walk in a Random World

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I’ve never drunken alcohol in my life, but I’m drunk all the time. That, at least, is the conclusion I draw after reading The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives.

The book argues that we vastly underestimate how our lives (and most things around us) are a product of chance. Although we know that luck is important, we don’t realize just how important it is. By the end of this book, you may end up believing that randomness is the most important factor in life.

Leonard Mlodinow’s Drunkard’s Walk gets a bit heavy at times, which may turn off people who don’t want to hear about the math details or about the obscure history of randomness.

The book’s biggest weakness is that it’s a bit short on solutions. Mlodinow advises us to “be aware” and “conscious” of how important randomness is.

That’s nice, but should I even try writing a brilliant review for his damn book? Is it pointless to try to write such an insightful review that it will land on Obama’s desk? Then Obama learns about me, buys my book, and puts me on Oprah. Or not. So why bother trying if life is so random?

All highly accomplished people ought to read this book for an ego-check.

BOTTOM LINE: 4 out 5 stars.

P.S. Although I’ve never purposely drunken an alcoholic drink in my life, I did get drunk when I was eight years old. My mom put rum on strawberries and I secretly ate them all. How’s that for random?

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About Francis Tapon