#1 The Drunkard’s Walk
The Drunkard’s Walk… How Randomness Rules our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow is essential reading for crusaders against the Illusion of Management. Mlodinow provides readers with an entertaining look at the probability of Roger Maris breaking Ruth’s homerun record in 1961 (3.1%), an introduction to Bayes’ theorem, the bias of statistics in the courtroom, and much more.
#2 The Black Swan
The Black Swan… The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb challenges portfolio theory and the normal distribution and introduces his readers to the concept of asymmetrical risk (high probability of small loss and low probability of tremendous reward).
#3 The Signal and the Noise
The Signal and the Noise… Why so many predictions fail but some don’t by Nate Silver walks readers through the art of forecasting through a look at Moneyball, Global Warming, and the accuracy or inaccuracy of television pundits. Silver provides a fantastic introduction to Bayes’ theorem, power-law distributions, and overfitting.