Chapter 1 Peering through the Eyepiece of Randomness

1. Explain the phenomenon "regression toward the mean."

In any series of random events an extraordinary event is most likely to be followed, due purely to chance, by a more ordinary one.

2. What factors determine whether a person will be successful in career, investment, etc.?

Success in our careers, in our investments, and in our life decisions, both major and minor—is as much the result of random factors as the result of skill, preparedness, and hard work.

3. Was Paramount's firing of Lansing the correct decision? After she was fired, Paramount films market share rebounded.

No, Lansing was fired because of industry’s misunderstanding of randomness and not because of her own flawed decision making. Lansing had good luck at the beginning and bad luck at the end.

Chapter 2 The Laws of Truths and Half-Truths

1. What coined the term probability, or probabilis? (Latin: probabilis credible)

Cicero’s principal legacy in the field of randomness is the term he used, probabilis, which is the origin of the term we employ today. But it is one part of the Roman code of law, the Digest, compiled by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century, that is the first document in which probability appears as an everyday term of art

2. What is the rule for compounding probabilities? How to compute probability that one event and another event both happening?

According to the correct manner of compounding probabilities, not only do two half proofs yield less than a whole certainty, but no finite number of partial proofs will ever add up to a certainty because to compound probabilities, you don’t add them; you multiply. That brings us to our next law, the rule for compounding probabilities:

If two possible events, A