Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian ChristianA fascinating exploration of how insights from computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind
All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, 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 theyve found have much to teach us.
In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. 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 ones inbox to understanding the workings of memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.
Algorithms to Live By
A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind. All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling?
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By Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. Imagine you're searching for an apartment in San Francisco—arguably the most harrowing American city in which to do so. The booming tech sector and tight zoning laws limiting new construction have conspired to make the city just as expensive as New York, and by many accounts more competitive. New listings go up and come down within minutes, open houses are mobbed, and often the keys end up in the hands of whoever can physically foist a deposit check on the landlord first. Such a savage market leaves little room for the kind of fact-finding and deliberation that is theoretically supposed to characterize the doings of the rational consumer.
The Computer Science Of Human Decisions
Being able to explain complex ideas in simple words is the hallmark of mastery of a subject, and Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths prove every bit of theirs in this book. Algorithms to Live By takes you on a journey of eleven ideas from computer science, that we, knowingly or not, use in our lives every day. I enjoyed this book a lot, so this review is going to be a long one. Imagine the following scenario: you have to hire a secretary from a pool of fixed applicants. If you pass on someone, you cannot come back to them. If you hire someone, the process stops and they are your new secretary.