Chapter 1: Peering through the Eyepiece of Randomness
The hidden role of chance . . . when human beings can be outperformed by a rat.
Chapter 2: The Laws of Truths and Half-Truths
The basic principles of probability and how they are abused . . . why a good story is often less likely to be true than a flimsy explanation.
Chapter 3: Finding Your Way through a Space of Possibilities
A framework for thinking about random situations . . . from a gambler in plague-ridden Italy to Let’s Make a Deal.
Chapter 4: Tracking the Pathways to Success
How to count the number of ways in which events can happen, and why it matters . . . the mathematical meaning of expectation.
Chapter 5: The Dueling Laws of Large and Small Numbers
The extent to which probabilities are reflected in the results we observe . . . Zeno’s paradox, the concept of limits, and beating the casino at roulette.
Chapter 6: False Positives and Positive Fallacies
How to adjust expectations in light of past events or new knowledge . . . mistakes in conditional probability from medical screening to the O. J. Simpson trial and the prosecutor’s fallacy.
Chapter 7: Measurement and the Law of Errors
The meaning and lack of meaning in measurements . . . the bell curve and wine ratings, political polls, grades, and the position of planets.
Chapter 8: The Order in Chaos
How large numbers can wash out the disorder of randomness . . . or why 200,000,000 drivers form a creature of habit.
Chapter 9: Illusions of Patterns and Patterns of Illusion
Why we are often fooled by the regularities in chance events . . . can a million consecutive zeroes or the success of Wall Street gurus be random?
Chapter 10: The Drunkard’s Walk
Why chance is a more fundamental conception than causality . . . Bruce Willis, Bill Gates, and the normal accident theory of life.