Algorithms to Live By The Computer Science of Human Decisions Free Read ☆ Brian Christian – PDF & TXT

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Ivities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling These may seem like uniuely human uandaries 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 they've found have much to teach usIn a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the algo. Even though I m a computer programmer I have to say when I saw the title I was a bit put off Algorithms are what I use for telling a computer what to do but I m not sure I feel comfortable with using them to tell myself what to do Real life is less tidy and binary than the data in a computerBut perhaps out of train wreck curiousity I picked it up and took a look The first thing I noticed is that Alison Gopnik gave it a dust jacket endorsement Ok you have my full attention nowOnce I started reading I understood a bit better what the authors were getting at A lot of what ought to be called philosophy is nowadays most often carefully looked at by computer scientists uestions like1 how do you balance finding new vs getting satisfaction from what you already know is good enough Should I eat at my favourite restaurant or give a new one a try Should I move to a new city or stay where I know where the best bookstorecoffeeshopbarrestaurants are Should I try out a new career or employer or stay with the job I ve got2 how do you balance keeping things orderly and keeping them handy3 how do I balance the risk of missing out on some important news vs the problem of spending my life endlessly checking email and texts4 how do I balance the risk of not thinking deeply enough about something vs the risk of overthinking something that is actually simpleWe have spent over half a century looking at these uestions in detail in order to make computer programs work efficiently when they sort analyse or store and retrieve data Our lives are rarely so tidy and binary as a computer s data but all of these uestions are highly relevant to uestions we face in our own messy analogue livesThis isn t I think a reason to decide that you should spend 37% of your expected adult lives dating and then propose to the next person you date who is better than anyone you ve dated so far as one information theory algorithm might suggest But there are a lot of situations in life where we have to choose between deciding how picky to be vs it s time to make our pick For example the amount of time to look for a house or a parking spot or a new job are places where I think it s ok to use a bit of algorithmic logic instead of just going with your gut impulse which is a lot easier for people to sway with savvy salesmanshipFor me though likely than that I will actually use the uicksort algorithm for my socks see chapter 3 is that I will think clearly about the issues involved when I do have a large sorting project to do Just reading about the tradeoffs involved helps to think clearly about them In sorting what are the chances you are ever going to need to search through the stuff you re sorting anyway If there s a good chance you won t just do a rough bucket sort and call it done In searching are you needing the best chance of getting the absolute best or the best chance of getting something above average If you pass on an opportunity and then go back what is the chance that opportunity will still be there in the crowded parking lot not much in job search depends on the labour marketThe fun thing about this kind of book is that it is not about any particular topic per se it is about all topics and none It is a book for thinking about thinking and thinking about better ways to think It is fun in the same way that solving puzzles or playing games is fun it s not that the puzzle or game is important in itself it s that it s fun to feel your brain working effectively on a hard task which is why the puzzle or game can t be too easy or it won t be fun Reading this book is an opportunity to think well about a lot of topics from your everyday life and who knows it may make you think slightly better about them after you re done I probably won t really live by these algorithms but it is fun to live with them ie having them available when I feel like it and this book is a pain free and enjoyable way to get introduced Stealing Kisses you have my full attention nowOnce I started reading I understood a bit better what the authors were getting at A lot of what ought to be called philosophy is nowadays most often carefully looked at by computer scientists uestions like1 how do One Breathless Night / Insatiable you balance finding new vs getting satisfaction from what Old Flame, New Sparks you already know is good enough Should I eat at my favourite restaurant or give a new one a try Should I move to a new city or stay where I know where the best bookstorecoffeeshopbarrestaurants are Should I try out a new career or employer or stay with the job I ve got2 how do Lone Star Baby Bombshell you balance keeping things orderly and keeping them handy3 how do I balance the risk of missing out on some important news vs the problem of spending my life endlessly checking email and texts4 how do I balance the risk of not thinking deeply enough about something vs the risk of overthinking something that is actually simpleWe have spent over half a century looking at these uestions in detail in order to make computer programs work efficiently when they sort analyse or store and retrieve data Our lives are rarely so tidy and binary as a computer s data but all of these uestions are highly relevant to uestions we face in our own messy analogue livesThis isn t I think a reason to decide that Lullabies and Lies you should spend 37% of One Night In New York your expected adult lives dating and then propose to the next person A Night to Remember you date who is better than anyone An Earl to Save Her Reputation you ve dated so far as one information theory algorithm might suggest But there are a lot of situations in life where we have to choose between deciding how picky to be vs it s time to make our pick For example the amount of time to look for a house or a parking spot or a new job are places where I think it s ok to use a bit of algorithmic logic instead of just going with On Fire your gut impulse which is a lot easier for people to sway with savvy salesmanshipFor me though likely than that I will actually use the uicksort algorithm for my socks see chapter 3 is that I will think clearly about the issues involved when I do have a large sorting project to do Just reading about the tradeoffs involved helps to think clearly about them In sorting what are the chances The Doctor Takes a Princess you are ever going to need to search through the stuff Rescued by the Viking you re sorting anyway If there s a good chance The Australians Society Bride you won t just do a rough bucket sort and call it done In searching are Master of Maramba you needing the best chance of getting the absolute best or the best chance of getting something above average If Daring to Date the Boss you pass on an opportunity and then go back what is the chance that opportunity will still be there in the crowded parking lot not much in job search depends on the labour marketThe fun thing about this kind of book is that it is not about any particular topic per se it is about all topics and none It is a book for thinking about thinking and thinking about better ways to think It is fun in the same way that solving puzzles or playing games is fun it s not that the puzzle or game is important in itself it s that it s fun to feel Sasvim skromni darovi your brain working effectively on a hard task which is why the puzzle or game can t be too easy or it won t be fun Reading this book is an opportunity to think well about a lot of topics from Larenzos Christmas Baby your everyday life and who knows it may make Protective Instincts (Mission: Rescue you think slightly better about them after Protecting His Brothers Bride you re done I probably won t really live by these algorithms but it is fun to live with them ie having them available when I feel like it and this book is a pain free and enjoyable way to get introduced

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Algorithms to Live By The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Rithms used by computers can also untangle very human uestions 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 memory Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living. In this book the authors explain famous algorithms in real world context My notes from this book 1 Optimal Stopping2 Old people don t lose memory they have so much of it that it slows their system3 Procrastination can be seen as an efficient scheduling problem with wrong priority4 Predictive Models Gaussian Power Law Erlang5 Over fitting It really is true that a company will build whatever the CEO decides to measure6 Penalize complexity Occam s Razor Principle7 A bit of conservative a certain bias in favor of history can buffer us against the boom and bust cycle of fads8Over fitting Examples Military Training taste buds9 Early Stopping Appropriate for Uncertainty10 The prefect is the enemy of the good11 Continuous Relaxation for discrete optimization12 Lagrangian Relaxation You don t HAVE to obey the law There are conseuences to everything and you get to decide whether you want to face those13 Random Sampling Miller Rabin Primality Test14 Charity GiveDirectly uses random samples of review15 Bloom filters for search engine crawls16 Simulated Annealing Random restart hill climbing17 Randomness heart of creativity18 Networking Circuit Switching Packet Switching19 Exponential backoff20 AIMD Additive Increase Multiplicative Decrease TCP s Sawtooth21 Game Theory Price of Anarchy Selfish routing only has 43 as it s price of Anarchy that s how internet is working fine infact 33% close to optimal22 Price of Anarchy is very high in case of Prisoner s Dilemma23 Tragedy of Commons Pollution Climate Change Number of Vacations employees use etc24 Game Theory Information Cascade25 Vickrey Auction I recommend this book to all

Summary Algorithms to Live By The Computer Science of Human Decisions

A 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 mindAll 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 act. I enjoy thinking about algorithms as they are applied to technical problems So when I saw this book I thought This is a book written just for me And that assessment was absolutely correct It is a fascinating book all about how sophisticated algorithms are applicable to everyday problemsThe book starts out describing the optimal stopping problem It is also sometimes called the secretary hiring problem and I have seen it applied to dating to find a romantic partner and this book points out that it can also be applied to looking for an apartment in a seller s market or searching for a parking space It can be summed up by the phrase uit while you re ahead Basically you have a finite amount of time to complete a search for the best item or person What do you do It can be shown mathematically that you should conduct a search for 37% of your total available time without making any decisions Then at the very next time you find an item or person that is better than all of the previous ones you should jump on it I read about this beforehand but I didn t realize that 37% comes from 1e where e is the natural exponent The next topic in the book is the dichotomy between explore and exploit That is to say when you are looking for something to do will you try something new explore or repeat something that has pleased you in the past exploit The answer has to do with how much time you have in this situation Movie seuels are all about exploiting because movie revenues are decreasing If you are new to an area you will explore restaurants but if you are moving away soon you will return to restaurants you have previously visited I enjoyed how this issue is related to the multi armed bandit problem This is a mathematical problem that has lots of applications choosing the best slot machine in a casino for example or designing a web site that will maximize profits for a companySorting is a big topic in the book It turns out that top poker players sort themselves out and don t want to play with players they think are better Libraries use an inefficient caching system putting recent acuisitions in front Instead they should put the most popular books in front The Naguchi filing system involves returning all files to the extreme left This goes against the recommendations of efficiency experts who recommend sorting by topic Leaving a pile of papers on top of a desk is an example of the MOST efficient filing system I enjoyed reading an anecdote about Barack Obama visiting Google before he became president At Google he was treated to a pretend job interview He was asked if you had to design an algorithm to sort a million 32 bit integers what would you do He replied that he would not use a bubble sort algorithm and all the people in the audience applauded his correct answerI enjoyed reading about human memory from an algorithmic point of view Memory recall is a problem of organization It was fascinating to read that a graph of the probability of remembering something as a function of elapsed time exactly mimics the probability that a word appears in a newspaper headline twice in a rowKnowing makes it harder to remember things what we call memory decline is actually just learning A brain fart is actually just a cache missRelated to sorting are various problems of scheduling Examples from the book include multiple laundry loads to minimize total washing plus drying time and minimizing the rotting of food from a CSA Community Supported AgricultureNo book on everyday applications of algorithms should bypass Bayesian reasoning and this is an important subject in this book Our memories of images of plane crashes and car crashes are roughly the same as a result we are surprised that there are orders of magnitude deaths in car crashes than in plane crashesThe dangers of over fitting are discussed at length As an example police and FBI agents sometimes over train they sometimes use good gun training etiuette during a shoot out with fatal conseuences I really appreciated the discussion of how over fitting is avoided in biological evolution It is dangerous for organisms to evolve to over fit an ecological niche because the species might not be able to rapidly adapt to an uncertain future environmentI also thought that the description of exponential backoff was very well treated in the book This esoteric sounding algorithm is used in all computer networks but is also used by many of us in treating flaky friends and in punishment for probation violationsThe last chapter in the book was about game theory It is helpful in reading this book to have some previous background an understanding of a Nash euilibrium The following uote sums it up nicely Love is like organized crime It changes the structure of the marriage game so that the euilibrium becomes the outcome that works best for everybody I highly recommend this book Regardless of your mathematics background it will intrigue you and amaze you to see how math permeates our everyday lives


10 thoughts on “Algorithms to Live By The Computer Science of Human Decisions

  1. says:

    This is one of those books that you pick up in the hope that it lives up to its title but is likely not to because it was written by someone from marketing Every now and then it pays off and this is one of those

  2. says:

    I was captivated by much of this book It's the perfect antidote to the argument you often hear from young maths students

  3. says:

    I enjoy thinking about algorithms as they are applied to technical problems So when I saw this book I thought Th

  4. says:

    Okay I loved this book So what is it about?The big pictureWe encounter many problems in our daily life for instance should I park my car here or proceed with the hope of finding a free spot a bit further? Should I try new restaurants or just st

  5. says:

    Even though I'm a computer programmer I have to say when I saw the title I was a bit put off Algorithms are what I use for telling a computer w

  6. says:

    A simple algorithm to conceive of literary plots could be to slot them as belonging to one of these categories Man vs Nature Man vs

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It's a nice popular review of research in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell It was fascinating to see t

  8. says:

    An engaging conceptual tour of computationalnetworking concepts how they apply in the computer world and how we can use them

  9. says:

    In this book the authors explain famous algorithms in real world context My notes from this book 1 Optimal Stopping2 Old people don't lose memory they have so much of it that it slows their system3 Procrastination can be seen as an ef

  10. says:

    So many great one liners in this bookStop on Tinder at 37%Use thick markers in brainstormingAll things being eual it'll last as long as it's lastedBut lest you think this is another fluffy brain book it's actually hard computer programming with the occasional laugh out loud line The team behind it are serious academics who have thought deeply about how computers think and how we can use those algorithms to make

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