Excerpt from “CHAPTER ONE: Life Before We Understood Probability”

How to Explain Almost Everything: The Power of Probability in Everyday Life by Dr. Robert A. Hitlin

Excerpt from “CHAPTER ONE: Life Before We Understood Probability”:

Our current understanding of probability and randomness is a highly
advanced form of logic and a great intellectual achievement. As
recently as the 1600s, even the greatest mathematicians did not understand
probability and randomness as well as ordinary people do today. The gradual
development of this method of understanding the world is one of the
greatest intellectual revolutions that has ever taken place, and is probably
the most important intellectual component that distinguishes our thought
processes from those of people in pre-modern eras.

Excerpt from “INTRODUCTION: Common Probability Questions in Everyday Life”

How to Explain Almost Everything: The Power of Probability in Everyday Life by Dr. Robert A. Hitlin

Excerpt from “INTRODUCTION: Common Probability Questions in Everyday Life”:

Probability logic is so fundamental to our view of the world that we are
not even aware of it as we use it. The development of modern computers
and the ability to collect large databases of information have only
increased this tendency. The following list includes examples of common
decisions, predictions, and computations that are fundamentally based on
probability.

  • A farmer’s decisions about when to plant crops and what to plant,
    and his or her predictions of future crop prices
  • Whether to buy a snow blower given the likelihood of large snows
    this year
  • Sports streaks, point spreads, and preseason predictions of the odds
    of winning championships

Questions from the Author

How to Explain Almost Everything: The Power of Probability in Everyday Life by Dr. Robert A. Hitlin

Questions from the Author:

If you are on Let’s Make a Deal, should you change doors?

Should you have a PSA test as a routine matter?

If a gun is shot into the air, should you worry about where the bullet will come down?

Is an extended warranty for a new TV worth it?

Should you buy travel insurance in all cases?