Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

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9780007547975: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
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A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives.What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime?Exploring how insights from computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, ‘Algorithms To Live Byâ€TM helps to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind. When should you switch between different tasks, and how many tasks should you take on in the first place? How much messiness should you accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favourites is the most fulfilling? When computers face constraints of time and space, they too must untangle very human questions: how to have better hunches, when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. And the solutions theyâ€TMve found have much to teach us.Acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the algorithms developed for computers can be applied from finding your spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing your inbox to understanding the workings of memory. Where you have a dilemma, they have a rule, and each fascinating algorithm turns the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

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About the Author:

Brian Christian is the author of The Most Human Human, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, New York Times editors’ choice, and a New Yorker favorite book of the year. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The Paris Review, as well as in scientific journals such as Cognitive Science, and has been translated into eleven languages. He lives in San Francisco.

Tom Griffiths is a professor of psychology and cognitive science at UC Berkeley, where he directs the Computational Cognitive Science Lab. He has published more than 150 scientific papers on topics ranging from cognitive psychology to cultural evolution, and has received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the American Psychological Association, and the Psychonomic Society, among others. He lives in Berkeley.

Review:

“A remarkable book... A solid, research-based book that’s applicable to real life. The algorithms the authors discuss are, in fact, more applicable to real-life problems than I’d have ever predicted.... It’s well worth the time to find a copy of Algorithms to Live By and dig deeper.”
―Forbes

“By the end of the book, I was convinced. Not because I endorse the idea of living like some hyper-rational Vulcan, but because computing algorithms could be a surprisingly useful way to embrace the messy compromises of real, non-Vulcan life.”
The Guardian (UK)

“I absolutely reveled in this book... It's the perfect antidote to the argument you often hear from young math students: ‘What's the point? I'll never use this in real life!’... The whole business, whether it's the relative simplicity of the 37% rule or the mind-twisting possibilities of game theory, is both potentially practical and highly enjoyable as presented here. Recommended.”
Popular Science (UK)

“An entertaining, intelligently presented book... Craftily programmed to build from one good idea to the next... The value of being aware of algorithmic thinking―of the thornier details of ‘human algorithm design,’ as Christian and Griffiths put it―is not just better problem solving, but also greater insight into the human mind. And who doesn’t want to know how we tick?”
―Kirkus Reviews

“Compelling and entertaining, Algorithms to Live By is packed with practical advice about how to use time, space, and effort more efficiently. And it’s a fascinating exploration of the workings of computer science and the human mind. Whether you want to optimize your to-do list, organize your closet, or understand human memory, this is a great read.”
―Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

“In this remarkably lucid, fascinating, and compulsively readable book, Christian and Griffiths show how much we can learn from computers. We’ve all heard about the power of algorithms―but Algorithms to Live By actually explains, brilliantly, how they work, and how we can take advantage of them to make better decisions in our own lives.”
―Alison Gopnik, coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib

“I’ve been waiting for a book to come along that merges computational models with human psychology―and Christian and Griffiths have succeeded beyond all expectations. This is a wonderful book, written so that anyone can understand the computer science that runs our world―and more importantly, what it means to our lives.”
―David Eagleman, author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781627790369: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

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ISBN 10:  1627790365 ISBN 13:  9781627790369
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., 2016
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9781250118363: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Picador, 2017
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9780007547999: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

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