Sunday, 17 August 2008

Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin… by Stephen Jay Gould


Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin… by Stephen Jay Gould
An enjoyable book, apart from one really annoying issue which will now dominate this review.

What on earth is 400 hitting in baseball? Why doesn't either Gould or his publisher have enough of a sense of their place in this big wide world to explain it - even just in a footnote or an appendix?

It's not as if it's cricket, is it?

Anyway - the book is actually about statistics and how the typical human being's prejudices about how we view the world get in the way of seeing the truth. Moderately interesting and as usual well written by a great practitioner of getting scientifically difficult concepts across to the lay man - ironically he reveals a similar blind spot to that which he exposes by his lack of knowledge that the world series was named after a newspaper and was not called "world" because the whole world knows about baseball.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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