Category Archives: book reviews

Book review: Good and real


We don’t have to look very hard to find aspects of the real world that appear at first glance not to make sense or that are perplexing. With careful analysis, however, we can frequently make sense of weird scenarios. Gary … Continue reading

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Book review: Triumph of the city


It’s easy to see some of the benefits of city living: being the middle of a bunch of excitement, things to do, shorter distances to points of interest. But, according to Harvard economist Edward Glaeser in his book Triumph of … Continue reading

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Book review: Delusions of gender


Do men and women think differently, due to an inherent different in brain functionality? Or is the difference we see in our society due exclusively to socialization? According to Cordelia Fine, author of Delusions of gender, all differences between men … Continue reading

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Book review: The moral landscape


Many people have argued that science and religion, when done correctly, can only answer questions about disjoint areas. Perhaps the most oft-cited person espousing this view is Stephen Jay Gould, who popularized the principle of non-overlapping magesteria and coined the … Continue reading

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Book review: The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable (Part III)


This is the third and final installment of the review. Read the first and second parts. How should we try to predict Black Swans? This is a tautologically difficult thing to do: by definition, we can’t predict unpredictable events. However, … Continue reading

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Book review: The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable (Part II)


This is the second of a three-part review. Read the first part here. A big part of the book is about explaining rare events after the fact. Taleb talks about the September 11th attacks as being a sort of prototypical … Continue reading

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Book review: The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable (Part I)


How do we interpret and prepare for very rare events? Most of us tend to focus on the outcomes most likely to occur. We might think that those are the only possible outcomes. Or, we might briefly consider some others, … Continue reading

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