Conned Again, Watson: Cautionary Tales Of Logic, Math, And Probability

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Basic Books, Dec 6, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 290 pages
2 Reviews
In Conned Again, Watson!, Colin Bruce re-creates the atmosphere of the original Sherlock Holmes stories to shed light on an enduring truth: Our reliance on common sense-and ignorance of mathematics-often gets us into trouble. In these cautionary tales of greedy gamblers, reckless businessmen, and ruthless con men, Sherlock Holmes uses his deep understanding of probability, statistics, decision theory, and game theory to solve crimes and protect the innocent. But it's not just the characters in these well-crafted stories that are deceived by statistics or fall prey to gambling fallacies. We all suffer from the results of poor decisions. In this illuminating collection, Bruce entertains while teaching us to avoid similar blunders. From "The Execution of Andrews" to "The Case of the Gambling Nobleman," there has never been a more exciting way to learn when to take a calculated risk-and how to spot a scam.
 

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Contents

THE CASE OF THE UNFORTUNATE BUSINESSMAN
1
THE CASE OF THE GAMBLING NOBLEMAN
19
THE CASE OF THE SURPRISE HEIR
45
THE CASE OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
65
THE CASE OF THE UNMARKED GRAVES
85
THE CASE OF THE MARTIAN INVASION
115
THREE CASES OF UNFAIR PREFERMENT
141
THE EXECUTION OF ANDREWS
161
THREE CASES OF RELATIVE HONOR
181
THE CASE OF THE POOR OBSERVER
207
THE CASE OF THE PERFECT ACCOUNTANT
225
THREE CASES OF GOOD INTENTIONS
247
Afterword
275
Index
289
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About the author (2001)

Colin Bruce is a physicist and science writer living in Oxford, England. He is an expert in mathematical paradoxes and a lover of mysteries.

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