Everything Is Predictable: How Bayesian Statistics Explain Our World (Hardcover)

Everything Is Predictable: How Bayesian Statistics Explain Our World By Tom Chivers Cover Image

Everything Is Predictable: How Bayesian Statistics Explain Our World (Hardcover)

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A captivating and user-friendly tour of Bayes’s theorem and its global impact on modern life from the acclaimed science writer and author of The Rationalist’s Guide to the Galaxy.

At its simplest, Bayes’s theorem describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event. But in Everything Is Predictable, Tom Chivers lays out how it affects every aspect of our lives. He explains why highly accurate screening tests can lead to false positives and how a failure to account for it in court has put innocent people in jail. A cornerstone of rational thought, many argue that Bayes’s theorem is a description of almost everything.

But who was the man who lent his name to this theorem? How did an 18th-century Presbyterian minister and amateur mathematician uncover a theorem that would affect fields as diverse as medicine, law, and artificial intelligence?

Fusing biography, razor-sharp science writing, and intellectual history, Everything Is Predictable is an entertaining tour of Bayes’s theorem and its impact on modern life, showing how a single compelling idea can have far reaching consequences.
Tom Chivers is an author and the award-winning science writer for Semafor. His writing has appeared in The Times (London), The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired, CNN, and more. His books include Everything Is PredictableThe Rationalist’s Guide to the Galaxy, and How to Read Numbers.
Product Details ISBN: 9781668052600
ISBN-10: 1668052601
Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English
"An ingenious introduction to the mathematics of rational thinking."
—Kirkus

"Life is shot through with uncertainty, but in this fascinating, witty and perspective-shifting book, Tom Chivers shows why this needn't condemn us to powerlessness and panic. I finished Everything Is Predictable not only better informed about a captivating branch of mathematics, but with an invigorating sense of greater purchase on the world."
—Oliver Burkeman, New York Times bestselling author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
 

"One thing that is perfectly predictable is that Tom Chivers writes terrific books. This one is no exception: it's witty, lively and best of all, extremely nerdy. I learned a lot and so will you."
—Tim Harford, bestselling author of The Undercover Economist
 
"A remarkable book by a remarkable writer about a remarkable theorem. The statistical chance of it not changing how you see the world forever is zero."
—Will Storr, author of The Science of Storytelling
 
"From assessing the effectiveness of treatments, to the way consciousness works and the way we make decisions, Tom Chivers makes a compelling case that Bayes' Theorem is the one formula that everyone should understand."
—Ananyo Bhattacharya, author of The Man From the Future
 
"From an eighteenth-century cleric to the workings of the brain, Chivers explores the impact of Bayes theorem; the mathematical basis for learning under uncertainty. After neatly summarizing the history of probability and statistics, he handles the challenging and controversial Bayesian approach to scientific evidence, induction, decision-making, statistical modelling, prediction, and human perception and reasoning. All with his customary light touch, and full of quotes and vivid stories. A filling but very tasty book."
—David Spiegelhalter, author of The Art of Statistics