Episode 013 – Probably about Probability

http://media.blubrry.com/mathforprimates/p/mathforprimates.com/wp-content/podcasts/012--PROBABLY-PROBABILITY.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 46:17 — 63.6MB) As most of you know, we’re still working on the format.  And it will take a number of goes to get it dialed in.  This is the second incarnation.  Feel free to comment, and we’ll take your input to heart. Oh, and we pre-record a lot of these, so even if we are planning on using your idea, it may take a while to incorporate it.  All part of the process.  Thanks for your patience! OK, in this episode: How math can turn you into a fortune teller. What is a “precise falafel”? Is an infinite number of Nick’s a good or a bad thing?  I say good! $7 bucks is a lot of money.  Just sayin’ Expected value of using your Quantum Superpowers to play the lottery. The primate brain’s pattern recognition is both kick-ass, and dumb as hell. Nick:  “Get out while you can, monkey!” The reason Las Vegas is not a Not for Profit city. Chess or Poker, that is the question. Natufian tribes, genes, and...

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Spring Break and Game Theory Books
Mar31

Spring Break and Game Theory Books

Well if you haven’t noticed, we haven’t uploaded a new episode in while.  Never fear, we haven’t fallen off of a cliff or anything (at least not physically).   We both hit our spring breaks and went into a deep couch-coma. We’ve got a new episode recorded, that I’ll have edited and up on the site by tomorrow at the latest. To tide you over I’ve compiled a list of Game Theory books that we love.  we’ve been getting a surprisingly large number of emails asking if Tom and I can recommend any great books on the subject.  Well, hell yes we can! I’m gonna put them into a couple of categories. Popular Books on Game Theory OK, I’m going to be totally honest here.  I don’t usually like popular game theory books.  They come off as silly (often).  I know how that must sound coming from me of all people, but hey, that’s just the way it is. However I DO like a lot of books that are implicitly game theoretic.  That is, they use game theoretic thinking without being all that clear about the fact that they are using the types of reasoning that is inherit to the subject. Here we go: The Armchair Economist by Steven Landsburg is just funny.  In fact, Landsburg is himself a game theorist and a rather accomplished one at that.  But, this book is all about everyday life and how economic reasoning (read: game theoretic reasoning) can help make sense of some of the big (well, small) questions we all have about day to day existence. Landsburg went at it again with this book on more of the same subjects as his last. Academic (ish) Books on Game Theory My favorite is this one: by Herbert Gintis.  It’s mostly just a huge collection of problems.  The only math you need is high school algebra for many of the problems, but having some calculus and linear algebra wouldn’t hurt. by Philip Straffin.  This book is very introductory and has very little “math”.  It’s small and easy to read.  It’s the first game theory book I read, and it still holds up as a undergrad level intro. Anatol Rapoport has made massive contributions to game theory in Political Science.  This book is a small intro book with a bit more math that Straffin’s book.  I found it helpful in my first term. Maynard-Smith changed the face of evolutionary research by introducing the field to game theory.  This is book that did it.  It also serves as a great intro to people who aren’t as mathy. Cool Books you Might Also Dig Below are a...

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