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Contents 1 Surrounded by Randomness: Probabilities Everywhere 1 2 What Are the Odds of That? Coincidence and Surprise 7 3 Laying Down the Law: Why Casinos Always Win 23 4 Dealing the Cards: Bridge, Poker, and Blackjack 44 5 Murder Most Foul: Measuring Trends 63 6 Utility Functions: How to Make Decisions 78 7 White Lab Coats: What Studies Do and Don¿t Show 96 8 Ain¿t Gonna Happen: Very Low Probabilities 117 9 Interlude: The Case of the Collapsing Casino 133 10 Fifty-one Percent to Forty-nine Percent: The True Meaning of Polls 145 11 Nineteen Times Out of Twenty: Margins of Error 163 12 Randomness to the Rescue: When Uncertainty Is Your Friend 176 13 Evolution, Genes, and Viruses: Randomness in Biology 193 14 That Wily Monty Hall: Finding Probabilities from Clues 206 15 Spam, Spam, Probability, and Spam: Blocking Unwanted E-mail 220 16 Ignorance, Chaos, and Quantum Mechanics: Causes of Randomness 234 17 Final Exam: Do You Have Probability Perspective? 247 Acknowledgements 255 About the Author 257 Index 259
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