Showing posts from 2020

Book Review: Outgrowing God

The year 2020 will certainly go down as a memorable one,  given our struggles to cope with a global pandemic.  When not out and about -- which was often -- I managed to pick up a great habit of reading at least 30 minutes every day.  This practice has given me relaxation, along with the joy of continually learning and gaining new insights to life.  Of numerous reads this year, I felt compelled to write a review on Outgrowing God , by Richard Dawkins.  If memory serves, I wrote a review on his earlier work, The God Delusion , back in 2009.  Indeed the two books have many similarities and it feels a bit deja vu to read his latest e-book.  Since taking a more leisurely stride in reading, no notes were taken along the way.  Relying on raw memory, Dawkins' key reasoning on why we do not need a god was:  Assuming the biblical recordings of Abrahamic God (in Judaism, Christianity and Islam) were largely accurate, and that itself is a big "if", the Almighty is simply too cruel,

Monty Hall Problem from a Movie

Time flies and it has been two years since my last post.  Somehow this important pastime has not seen much investment of my time in Hong Kong. I was watching the movie 21 the other night, which was about a team of MIT students breaking bank at Vegas casinos.  The movie was entertaining as it has (some) action, romance, a twist, and most importantly, math, packed into two hours of lights-out.  I learnt how to improve your odds at Blackjack, by working in a team and assigning a count to a table based on the number of dealt high and low cards.  The part that really caught my attention however, was when professor Rosa was teaching the Monty Hall problem through his interaction with his A-student and soon-to-be recruit, Ben Campbell.  This problem is often depicted in the form of a game show.  The grand prize, a car, is waiting behind one of three closed doors.  When the contestant picks Door A, the game show host, who knows exactly which door the car is behind, opens a door that is e