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Lance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most to Live By The Computer eBook #235 fulfilling These may seem like uniuely human uandaries but they are not computers too face the same constraints so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such issues for decades And the solutions they've found have much to teach usIn a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how. Even though I m a computer programmer I have to say when I saw the title I was a bit put off Algorithms are what I use for telling a computer what to do but I m not sure I feel comfortable with using them to tell myself what to do Real life is less tidy and binary than the data in a computerBut perhaps out of train wreck curiousity I picked it up and took a look The first thing I noticed is that Alison Gopnik gave it a dust jacket endorsement Ok you have my full attention nowOnce I started reading I understood a bit better what the authors were getting at A lot of what ought to be called philosophy is nowadays most often carefully looked at by computer scientists uestions like1 how do you balance finding new vs getting satisfaction from what you already know is good enough Should I eat at my favourite restaurant or give a new one a try Should I move to a new city or stay where I know where the best bookstorecoffeeshopbarrestaurants are Should I try out a new career or employer or stay with the job I ve got2 how do you balance keeping things orderly and keeping them handy3 how do I balance the risk of missing out on some important news vs the problem of spending my life endlessly checking email and texts4 how do I balance the risk of not thinking deeply enough about something vs the risk of overthinking something that is actually simpleWe have spent over half a century looking at these uestions in detail in order to make computer programs work efficiently when they sort analyse or store and retrieve data Our lives are rarely so tidy and binary as a computer s data but all of these uestions are highly relevant to uestions we face in our own messy analogue livesThis isn t I think a reason to decide that you should spend 37% of your expected adult lives dating and then propose to the next person you date who is better than anyone you ve dated so far as one information theory algorithm might suggest But there are a lot of situations in life where we have to choose between deciding how picky to be vs it s time to make our pick For example the amount of time to look for a house or a parking spot or a new job are places where I think it s ok to use a bit of algorithmic logic instead of just going with your gut impulse which is a lot easier for people to sway with savvy salesmanshipFor me though likely than that I will actually use the uicksort algorithm for my socks see chapter 3 is that I will think clearly about the issues involved when I do have a large sorting project to do Just reading about the tradeoffs involved helps to think clearly about them In sorting what are the chances you are ever going to need to search through the stuff you re sorting anyway If there s a good chance you won t just do a rough bucket sort and call it done In searching are you needing the best chance of getting the absolute best or the best chance of getting something above average If you pass on an opportunity and then go back what is the chance that opportunity will still be there in the crowded parking lot not much in job search depends on the labour marketThe fun thing about this kind of book is that it is not about any particular topic per se it is about all topics and none It is a book for thinking about thinking and thinking about better ways to think It is fun in the same way that solving puzzles or playing games is fun it s not that the puzzle or game is important in itself it s that it s fun to feel your brain working effectively on a hard task which is why the puzzle or game can t be too easy or it won t be fun Reading this book is an opportunity to think well about a lot of topics from your everyday life and who knows it may make you think slightly better about them after you re done I probably won t really live by these algorithms but it is fun to live with them ie having them available when I feel like it and this book is a pain free and enjoyable way to get introduced

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Algorithms to Live By The Computer Science of Human Decisions

The algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human uestions They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of memory Algorithms to Live By transforms the to Live By The Computer eBook #235 wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living. I really enjoyed this book It s a nice popular review of research in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell It was fascinating to see the wide reaching applications of classic algorithms from computer science and also humbling to see how many problems are essentially impossible to truly optimize However as luck would have it there are often simple approximations that give a pretty good solution with very little effort The authors do a good job giving interesting backstory on the algorithms and relating them in ways that are hopefully accessible to readers who aren t familiar with computer scienceMy favorite chapters were the ones that were the most strongly anchored in the mundane especially Optimal Stopping parking spacehousehunting ExploreExploit should I try a new restaurant or go to my old favorite and Scheduling what to do with your to do list Some of the others such as Networking and Overfitting were theoretical and less memorable but still had nice historical vignettes of the people behind famous names like BayesIf you have a technicalanalytical inclination and have ever wondered what the ideal way to solve an everyday problem I think you ll find a lot to like in this book

Brian Christian ¼ 1 FREE READ

A fascinating exploration of how Live By Epub #218 insights from computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives helping to solve common decision making problems and illuminate the Algorithms to Epubworkings of the human mindAll our lives are constrained by limited space and time limits that give rise to a particular set of problems What should we to Live By Kindle #210 do or leave undone in a day or a lifetime How much messiness should we accept What ba. This is one of those books that you pick up in the hope that it lives up to its title but is likely not to because it was written by someone from marketing Every now and then it pays off and this is one of those timesThis book spoke volumes to me I have studied math and I love math especially applying it to scientific problems But I have never looked into algorithms nor have I been taught algorithms What a shame I took to the ideas instantly and it all made complete sense not only the algorithms but the living by them I guess it all ties into how our brains work and how Turing likened computers to our brains It all makes sense because our brains are computers that work by algorithms Messy algorithms that clash and battle against each other but predictable in some waysSo embracing how algorithms work and some of the solutions they suggest and applying them to your everyday life may seem like a stretch but you re already doing it you just don t realise it And you may not be solving your problems in the most effective manner but the authors explore the reasons for that tooSo if you view reality like I do pick this book up It has revelations in it than any holy text It gives me frameworks to work on problems that I already think about It helped me make even sense of this crazy placeAs soon as I finished the audiobook I started right back at the beginning again The narrator is one of the authors and he does a brilliant job I m going to get a physical copy of this too when it is out in paperback It s a keeper It s a treasure So much bliss


10 thoughts on “Algorithms to Live By The Computer Science of Human Decisions

  1. says:

    This is one of those books that you pick up in the hope that it lives up to its title but is likely not to because it was written by someone f

  2. says:

    I was captivated by much of this book It's the perfect antidote to the argument you often hear from young maths students 'What's the point? I'll never use this in real life' This often comes up with algebra whic

  3. says:

    I enjoy thinking about algorithms as they are applied to technical problems So when I saw this book I thought This is a book written just for

  4. says:

    Okay I loved this book So what is it about?The big pictureWe encounter many problems in our daily life for instance should I park my car here or proceed with the hope of finding a free spot a bit further? Should I try new restaurants or just stick to good old ones I know? How can I find my life's purpose? What is the fastest way I can sort out my books hmmm should I even try sorting out my shelves? How can I best sched

  5. says:

    Even though I'm a computer programmer I have to say when I saw the title I was a bit put off Algorithms are what I use for telling a computer what to do but I'm not sure I feel comfortable with using them to tell myself what to do Real life is less tidy and binary than the data in a computerBut perhaps out of train wrec

  6. says:

    A simple algorithm to conceive of literary plots could be to slot them as belonging to one of these categories Man vs Nature Man vs Self Man vs Man Man vs Society Brian Tom enlists findings from computer science to guide us through these Algorithms here are the shortcuts or even the intuitions that guide us thr

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It's a nice popular review of research in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell It was fascinating to see the wide reaching applications of classic algorithms from computer science and also humbling to see ho

  8. says:

    An engaging conceptual tour of computationalnetworking concepts how they apply in the computer world and how we can use t

  9. says:

    In this book the authors explain famous algorithms in real world context My notes from this book 1 Optimal Stopping2 Old people don't lose memory they have so much of it that it slows their system3 Procrastination can be seen as an efficient scheduling problem with wrong priority4 Predictive Models Gaussian Power Law Erlang5 Over fitting It really is true that a company will build whatever the CEO decides to measure6 Penalize complexity Occ

  10. says:

    So many great one liners in this bookStop on Tinder at 37%Use thick markers in brainstormingAll things being eual it'll last as long as it's las