How do you predict something that has never happened before?
There's a useful calculation being employed by Wall Street, Silicon Valley and maths professors all over the world, and it predicts that the human species will become extinct in 760 years. Unfortunately, there is disagreement over how to apply the formula, and some argue that we might only have twenty years left.
Originally devised by British clergyman Thomas Bayes, the theorem languished in obscurity for two hundred years before being resurrected as the lynchpin of the digital economy. With brief detours into archaeology, philology, and overdue library books, William Poundstone explains how we can use it to predict pretty much anything. What is the chance that there are multiple universes? How long will Hamilton run? Will the US stock market continue to perform as well this century as it has for the last hundred years? And are we really all doomed?
William Poundstone is the author of more than ten non-fiction books, including Fortune's Formula, which was the Amazon Editors' Pick for #1 non-fiction book of 2005. Poundstone has written for The New York Times, Psychology Today, Esquire, Harpers, The Economist, and Harvard Business Review. He has appeared on the Today Show, The David Letterman Show and hundreds of radio talk-shows throughout the world. Poundstone studied physics at MIT and many of his ideas concern the social and financial impact of scientific ideas. His books have sold over half a million copies worldwide.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications (June 6, 2019)
Length: 304 pages
‘Thoroughly entertaining reading and it’s not hard to foresee a future in which readers everywhere will find it impossible to put down.’
– E&T Magazine
‘a fun and energetic romp through a mishmash of philosophical and cosmological ideas… an engagingly written foray.’
– The Inquisitive Biologist
‘A fascinating sweep through so many interesting and important insights into how we can understand our future, masterfully knitted together.’
– Bobby Duffy, author of The Perils of Perception
‘One of the best science writers of our time has taken on one of the most interesting and important subjects of all time – how to predict the future under great uncertainty… A gripping read.’
– Michael Shermer, author of Heavens on Earth
‘A very interesting and definitive book on this subject.’
– J. Richard Gott, astrophysicist and author of The Cosmic Web
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