50 William Poundstone - Understanding Randomness

On the show this week we talk about randomness with science writer William Poundstone, author of the new book Rock Breaks Scissors. Poundstone explains why we’re so terrible at trying to come up with random sequences ourselves—and how understanding these pitfalls can actually help you predict, with accuracy above chance, what someone else is going to do even when he or she is trying, purposefully, to act randomly. These predictions are at the core of Poundstone's book, which offers a practical guide to outguessing and outwitting almost anybody—in activities ranging from Rock, Paper, Scissors (men tend to go with rock, so you can beat them with paper) to investing in stocks. On the show this week we also talk about researchers who are growing mushrooms on diapers to help them biodegrade and Chris disagrees with Neil deGrasse Tyson about something (but still loves him). iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inquiring-minds/id711675943 RSS: feeds.feedburner.com/inquiring-minds Stitcher: stitcher.com/podcast/inquiring-minds

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