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Algorithms to Live By

The Computer Science of Human Decisions
Lu par : Brian Christian
Durée : 11 h et 50 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 notations)

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Description

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? 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 problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us.

In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the simple, precise 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 one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

©2016 Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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Notations
Global
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  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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good book, but to detailed for listening

it is a very good book, but i think it is better for reading than listening

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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Good book with multiple reference about computer

First of all, I like the book. I learned a few thing while listening it. It give a lot reference about algorithm and how to apply it.
But howover, it used many classical examples of computer science so it might be boring during the listening. plus the advice it gives depends a lot in context.
All and all, good book, recommended for those who want to computerize your way of thinking.

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this is a very good book to listen to I like it

this is a very good book to listen to I really liked it a lot

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Loved it!

Great insight into computer science, this book humanized it for me and made me understand the human challenges computer science is trying to address. It made me understand more then”science” of computers and information, as opposed to IT. I’ve recommended it to others, the brainy friends from other disciplines. It’s definitely for a smart and curious audience, not for everyone.

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  • Global
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  • Michael D. Busch
  • 03/10/2016

Loved this book!

The authors take us on an easy-to-understand grand tour of the science of computer algorithms — stopping, sorting, caching, predicting, game theory, and much more — and then do a marvelous job of explaining The application of these algorithms to the most mundane problems of everyday human experience — parking, dating, remembering, playing poker, etc. A tour de force! I enjoyed it greatly, and recommended it to several friends.

37 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Megan Carr
  • 31/01/2018

How do you prioritize when everything is top priority? I have an answer now.

Have you ever had the inevitable interview question about how you prioritize so many different things when everything needs to be done right now?
I am a “non traditional” med student with a background in business and real estate. I’ve been on my fair share of interviews and am currently rotating through clinical interviews. I have heard at least some version of this exact question in every interview I’ve had in both medicine and the business world. My most recent interviewer said they had never heard someone put so much thought into an answer after I decided to answer given the theorems described in the chapter on prioritizing. 😂

I have gained a much better understanding of many different theorems used from computer algorithms to economics and how they can be used to optimize my own decisions. It was an enlightening read.

112 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcy N.
  • 23/10/2017

diamonds among the brickwork

I persevered to the end and I'm glad that I did. This is definitely a book for people who understand computers and math, which is not my strong suit. However, what i could understand was very interesting and gave me many points to think about regarding human interactions.

64 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08/12/2019

tone-deaf

Listener, I wanted to like this book, or at least find it useful. Within two chapters, I resigned.

First a word on misogyny. It’s one thing to place a classic mathematical riddle within context, but another to perpetuate the sexist cliches. In the discussion of the secretary puzzle, there is no reason in this century to solely and exclusively refer to the secretaries as female. Enough.

Next, let us discuss banalities, or rather, using a puzzle, especially designed to narrow and simplify a complex issue with the aim to bully another profession. Of course we are discussing the parking puzzle. At the onset, I hoped for some insight, some new way of considering an ongoing challenge to public and private sector planners. Land planning is complex and hyper-local. Instead of an acknowledgement in that direction, or some acumen towards developing new solutions, the authors took a sanctimonious jab at municipal planners, quipping that those professionals need to remember that it’s more complicated than the narrow parameters of the puzzle. No Kidding.

Finally, a note on when not to introduce humor. I hope that we can agree that even if we think that oligarchy is not our favorite governmental style or business practice, that a person is still a human. The story of the oligarch may be an irresistible cautionary tale for quitting-while-ahead, but joking that the apparent suicide victim may have instead been murdered is a pretty distasteful way to initiate sense of humor.

I chose not to complete this book.

24 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 10/10/2016

Not Just Computer Science

This fascinating and entertaining book discusses several famous decision problems that I would not necessarily call computer science problems: “The Secretary Problem” (optimal stopping), “The Multi-Armed Bandit Problem”, “Bayes’s Lottery/Laplace’s Sunrise Problem”, "The Prisoner's Dilemma". and “The Traveling Salesman Problem". It also discusses merge-sort, caching, and the Least-Recently-Used (LRU) principle, which do seem more like computer science. This may sound dry, but it isn't! The authors sprinkle in anecdotes, short biographical sketches, and quotations that keep things fresh and interesting. I also own the Kindle edition, which has some useful figures, tables, and notes, but this works fine as an audiobook. Any equations are relegated to the notes. One of the authors, Brian Christian, reads it well.

83 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Aaron P.
  • 11/03/2019

HEARTLESS

I have 10 hours left of this book left to listen too, and so far, this book comes across completely heartless and off-putting. It is everything that is WRONG with corporate America and today's business world. I knew, just by the title that it was going to be a book about making decisions based on math and logic, but the author COMPLETELY takes all the "human" out of the decision making process, at least so far in the beginning of the book. I'm sorry, but if you go with the author's summation of a 37% decision making threshold in the decision making process of whom you employ just about anyone will usually make the right decision. Hell, even if you intuitively choose the person and didn't know about this percentage at the start the hiring manager will do just a well in their decision making process... I can pretty much guarantee it. It is simply insane that this book has so many high reviews... and the narration is borrowing as hell! The dude sounds like he is sleeping at the wheel. Dry and boring, monotone, much like a bad computer voice... ugh. How are these reviews so high?????? AND, it's not complicated at all. It's simple math. It's simple deductive logic based reasoning! And I went to Art School. This book is frustrating.

19 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11/10/2016

Beware non-techies

I have a hard time grasping computer science, statistics and the like. So, I did not follow the narrator's explanations very well. But I did like hearing the results of his stories. I listened to the whole book even though I probably only understood 20% of it. The narrator had a nice voice and that made it easy for me to keep listening.

152 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Hobbit Taz
  • 07/10/2016

I will Re-Read this one!

What made the experience of listening to Algorithms to Live By the most enjoyable?

I Don't normally write reviews on books and movies - but this one I started promoting to fellow workers before I was 1/2 way through it. It was a really interesting way to look at everyday life tasks and the methods used for best results based in mathematical and computer Algorithm theorems (but explaining in everyday non-mathematical ways). I will have to read again myself.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I think taking the book in small portions (a chapter at a time - listening to it a couple times even if you miss following a portion). Allow the material to soak in and measure it against your everyday activities to best decide which of the Algorithms to best apply to your (or I found in some cases explained what I was already doing).

Any additional comments?

On a Side note if you are like me and deal with computers / numbers / and other such detail oriented thinking you probably are aware of some or many of the algorithms mentioned, but it was interesting to see them applied to everyday activities.

122 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Hosman
  • 07/08/2017

Great listen, just don't expect tips!

Spoiler: the conclusion of many chapters is that your intuition is better than any current algorithm. Therefore, I wouldn't buy this book for tips. If you're smart, your intuition is already better, and if you're stupid, you're not going to understand the concepts anyway. However, I enjoyed the book as a fascinating exploration into how the mind works optimally, and liked putting words to the things I’m already just doing.

126 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 24/07/2016

Accessible and engaging

I have an engineering background, but little formal computer science training. The text felt approachable for a general audience and the authors weave in some good stories. I was familiar with the topics on probability, randomness and optimization, yet found valuable new insights. Recommended to anyone with an interest in computing, algorithms and decision making.

98 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • User123
  • 10/07/2018

Der Sprecher ist zum Einschlafen

Nach einer Stunde hören, kann ich es mir nicht mehr anhören 10€ hin oder her. Der Sprecher liest so langweilig und monoton, es geht nicht mehr.

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mostafa Nageeb
  • 04/01/2017

A must read for both CS and non-CS people alike

I never thought I would enjoy an algorithms book as much as I enjoyed this one. It has a unique perspective combining history, real world problems, and deeply technical topics in a fun, simple English format.

If you studied computer science, it will give you the history and the why of many of the things you studied as well as expand your knowledge to other areas you might have heard of but never worked on.

If you didn't study computer science, it will help you a lot to understand computational thinking, why things the way they are, and surprise surprise, you will learn about the limitations of computers and the trade offs software developers have to make to reach a working solution.

In all cases, you will learn how to use computational thinking to make decisions in life, and some of these will be your algorithms to live by.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Weismat
  • 28/08/2018

Empfehlenswert

Eine gelungene Mischung aus Informatik Theorie und Anwendung in anderen Bereichen. Kurzweiliges Lernen macht Spaß.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lars
  • 19/04/2018

Well known problems explained for dummies

Would not recommend this book to software developers or mathematicians. nothing new to see here.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 02/04/2020

Speaker is gruwesome! Bored, agitated, unfocused.

How can you let such a person read?! I could not listen longer than 10 minutes, becasue the speakers voice is bored, agitated, distracted, like a schoolboy reading a boring text he does not understand what it is about. Awful!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MR S MCLEAN
  • 19/09/2019

So many good ideas

Really enjoyed this book. Wish they'd got a professional actor to read it but audio quality is all clear and well produced. Have bought the print version as well but will probably also listen again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 13/03/2019

shows a different view

I didn't like the beginning chapters, but it got really good in the end. Really interesting to look at everyday things from computer science perspective.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin Schröder
  • 15/11/2018

Wonderfully humanistic

A wonderfully humanistic view from the perspective of Computer Science onto living one's life and being kind with many practical instructions on how to solve daily problems.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon Rutherford
  • 13/05/2018

Disappointing

Couldn't get past 3rd chapter. Computer scientists trying to apply some algorithms to everyday life, but completely omitting key variables which must influence our decisions.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 14/04/2018

Great for anyone interested in computer science

I can warmly recommend it for anyone interested in computer science and/or statistics.

Topics of everyday life are viewed and discussed from an algorithmic perspective, always trying to be most efficient while keeping in mind restrictions and model assumptions.

It adds a very nice flavor that Brian Christian himself narrates the book. I definetely liked his voice and style of reading.

Overall I would definetely recommend this book.