The Logic of Miracles Making Sense of Rare, Really Rare, and Impossibly Rare Events Laszlo Mero, Márton Moldován, David Kramer

Publication date:
17 Apr 2018
Yale University Press
288 pages: 210 x 140 x 25mm
23 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World excluding Hungary

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We live in a much more turbulent world than we like to think, but the science we use to analyze economic, financial, and statistical events mostly disregards the world’s essentially chaotic nature. We need to get used to the idea that wildly improbable events are actually part of the natural order. The renowned Hungarian mathematician and psychologist László Mérő explains how the wild and mild worlds (which he names Wildovia and Mildovia) coexist, and that different laws apply to each. Even if we live in an ultimately wild universe, he argues, we’re better off pretending that it obeys Mildovian laws. Doing so may amount to a self‑fulfilling prophecy and create an island of predictability in a very rough sea. Perched on the ragged border between economics and complexity theory, Mérő proposes to extend the reach of science to subjects previously considered outside its grasp: the unpredictable, unrepeatable, highly improbable events we commonly call “miracles.”

László Mérő is a professor at the Institute of Psychology at Eötvös Loránd University and cofounder of the marketing firm Darwin’s Marketing Evolution, Inc. He is the author of several books, including Moral Calculations.

“It's hard to see how miracles and math fit together. But if you accept László Mérö's invitation, you will enter a world where miracles are normal and the predictable sits side-by-side with the unpredictable. Along the way, he unveils the mathematics of the stock market and explains, in a playful yet mathematically accurate way, the roots of market crashes and earthquakes, and why ‘black swans’ are not just calamities but opportunities.”—Albert-László Barabási, author of Linked

"Engaging, accessible, yet consistently surprising, Laszlo Mero’s The Logic of Miracles breaks new ground in the relationship of probability, fate, and the ability of human beings to behold them."—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock

“This is a masterpiece. Laszlo Merö, with intelligence and wisdom, summarizes knowledge of mathematics and statistics, philosophy and psychology, natural and social sciences, to explain the nature of ‘miracles’ of life. Scientific methods are explained brilliantly, spiked with anecdotes and dry humor.”— Erich Kirchler, University of Vienna, Austria