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Brad's Life: Books and Thoughts

The Drunkard's Walk - book review
Jan 15, 2010
I just finished ďThe Drunkardís WalkĒ How Randomness Rules our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. I struggled to understand some of the math; however the concepts will be life changing. By the end of the book I see so clearly how we see cause and effect when there isnít any. We judge people and work by the results rather than who they are. This book has helped me find words and creditability to some of the things I have felt and taught but had little evidence for. It also opened my eyes to other things which are just wild. Ten years ago I had some localized fame at Moody Bible Institute and Multnomah Bible College. I realized when I was on the campuses at these two schools I was given so much respect and people listened so closely to what I said. I was just beginning my ministry in Phoenix and somewhere in flight all the awe for my teaching evaporated so that when I laded I was just a normal guy again. (The adjustment was often difficult). It was then I became aware that it was only my fame changed the way I was viewed by others. I began to think about how I viewed others just because of their fame. That was disturbing; self reflection often is. This book explains a little of why that happened and how it is to be expected. I wish every teacher who ever gives grades would read this book and understand a little more how random grades are. I wish anyone who ever uses the word ďdataĒ would understand how easy it is to misunderstand so that the data can become useless or even harmful. I wish that everyone who is not published, not recognized or not hired after numerous interviews would take comfort in just how random the rejection is. How I wish that everyone who ever is responsible for hiring or firing would understand something of random theory. It wonít happen, but I really wish it would. I am often asked why I believe what I read in books. I usually have a good answer; something like these people have thought about and researched the subject more than I ever could. This is certainly true of this author. Dr. Mlodinow received a double major in math & physics (I couldnít do that). Received a masters degree in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (I couldnít do that either!). After graduating (no surprise here) he joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology. In 1985 he worked in Hollywood as a writer writing for MacGyver, Star Trek: the next generation and others. (This explains why his book is fun to read and has some great humor in it). He is now back to teaching at Caltech. One final thought on randomness. I believe is a sovereign God who is in absolute and in complete control. I also believe in luck and random theories. My little brain canít put these two ideas together. This is consistent with other things I believe which I canít harmonize: free will and predestination; the hypostatic union (Jesus was all God and all man all at the same time) and the Trinity (God is one, but three in person). Like Dr. Mlodinow math I donít understand, I accept many things as true which I canít harmonize. I am okay with that.
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