Statistics Hacks

Bought a trick? Let us know what you think!
About to buy a trick? Be sure to read our Archived user reviews here and in the three new sections above before buying!

Moderators: Lady of Mystery, nickj, Mandrake, bananafish, support, Rob

Playing Cards for Magicians ink cartridges Sorcery Shop - Home of the ITR Aeternum Servare Secreta MagicWorld Magic Shop for Magic Tricks A web site set up to sell my book, THE STRIPPER DECK, and future magical/mentalism titles.

Statistics Hacks

Postby Tomo » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:51 pm



Title: Statistics Hacks
ISBN-0-596-10164-3

Supplier: http://www.oreilly.com/

Cost: £20.99

Difficulty: 4

Review:

You are feeling sleepy, so very, very sleepy. After all, reading a book about statistics is deeply uninteresting, so reading a review of a book about statistics must be even worse.

That being the case, with your eyes already drooping and just before you finally drop off, cut a shuffled deck five times, then expose the top faces. If all are below nine, you win a quid from me, but if not, I win one from you. Clearly, despite any early losses, the longer we play, the more you’ll win, so try the experiment ten times, shuffling thoroughly whenever you like, and tallying the wins on paper. Stop reading and really do it. If we ever meet, I promise I’ll pay you what I owe you.

Used correctly, the word ‘hack’ dates back to 1960s MIT, and means to make an existing, unmodified system do something its designers never envisaged. Statistics is such a system – an understandable and rational system of prediction that actually works (statistically, that is!). This book is, therefore, about making a reliable system of prediction do interesting things. So very, very boring.

After a swift introduction to the basics of statistics and some thought provoking revelations about everyday life, the book continues by teaching you how to discover hidden relationships in data. That data could be anything from a deck of cards, to the contents of a car park. The important word is ‘hidden’. After going deeper to learn more about the subtle tools of the statistician, we see how to beat the odds at poker, roulette, blackjack, coins, dice, the Lottery, and at the bookies. There’s even a template for producing your own bar bets (who said ‘scams?’).

Finally, we go so very much deeper. Demystifying coincidences means we can deliberately create fake ones that seem like miracles. We can even (and this is worth twice the cover price alone), control the random thoughts of others. Seriously, it’s hack number 67, page 287, title: “Control Random Thoughts”, and it is pure genius.

Unlike the present, where to see further one uses a telescope to focus light, seeing into the future uses statistics to focus probability. It’s what you focus statistics on that turns out to be boring. Grab the controls, and point it at aspects of the future that are to your advantage to see.

Overall
If you’re looking for an easy read, forget it, but if you’re prepared to settle down for a cosy Sunday afternoon, make notes, and let your mind wonder into potential mental magic applications and more, this is for you.

The ‘Hacks’ series of books is a goldmine of clever stuff, and this is no exception. Like ‘Mind Hacks’ and “Mind Performance Hacks’ before it, for anyone who likes to create mental magic or predictions about future events, the tools and titbits of knowledge this title contains make £20 look insignificant. Oh, and I’ll be round for the money you owe me on Friday. It’s about eight quid, isn’t it?

10/10

Image
User avatar
Tomo
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 9866
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Darkest Cheshire (forty-bloody-six going on six)

Postby dorian » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:35 am

Thank you for the review.

That sounds like a most interesting book and just my sort of thing.

Thank you and the cutting of the deck stat trick works a treat.

Dean

User avatar
dorian
Preferred Member
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:18 am
Location: Scotland (34:AH)

Postby Tomo » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:38 am

dorian wrote:Thank you and the cutting of the deck stat trick works a treat.


How much did you lose to me? :mrgreen:

Image
User avatar
Tomo
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 9866
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Darkest Cheshire (forty-bloody-six going on six)

Postby pdjamez » Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:12 pm

If your into statistics :shock: you need to read Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner. Not magic related, but a damn good read.

Infact, even if your not into statistics (theres nothing hard in this book, honest) but are interested in the strange ways in which our society works, get this book. Might even inspire some ideas for statistic related effects.

User avatar
pdjamez
Senior Member
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: Scotland (40:AH)

Statistics Hacks

Postby DrTodd » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:33 am

Great review!

I teach statistics as my day job and it is amazing how much of what we do as magicians has an underlying set of probabilities (e.g. the Vernon card trick that has no name). There is another nice book called Teaching Statistics with Playing Cards that shows how a deck of cards can be used to demonstrate the simple principles of statistics.

This looks like a great book. Knowing the chances of getting something right can be a very powerful tool for magicians.

User avatar
DrTodd
Elite Member
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:44 am
Location: East Bergholt

Postby Tomo » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:45 am

Cheers. It's made me take another look at some of the stuff in Card Concepts again, like the Kruskal Principle. The hack about statistically controlling random thoughts has got me thinking too. I think that with a bit of thought, someone could give Brown or Geller a run with the old guessing the drawing routine.

Image
User avatar
Tomo
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 9866
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Darkest Cheshire (forty-bloody-six going on six)

Re: Statistics Hacks

Postby moonbeam » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:12 am

Tomo wrote:That being the case, with your eyes already drooping and just before you finally drop off, cut a shuffled deck five times, then expose the top faces. If all are below nine, you win a quid from me, but if not, I win one from you. Clearly, despite any early losses, the longer we play, the more you’ll win, so try the experiment ten times, shuffling thoroughly whenever you like, and tallying the wins on paper. Stop reading and really do it. If we ever meet, I promise I’ll pay you what I owe you.


If I'm reading this correct you're betting on the outcome of 5 cards all being below 9 yea? (or 6 cards maybe, 'cos if you cut the cards 5 times you form 6 piles. Anyway for the sake of arguement I'm assuming 5 cards 8) )

If I've misunderstood then I apologise :oops:

Well my maths ain't brill but the odds are very highly in your favour:

I'm assuming that ace is high.

Odds of cutting 5 cards, all below 9:

28/52 x 27/51 x 26/50 x 25/49 x 24/48 = 3.78% chance.

I know that this book is about hidden stats etc but I don't think that even a numpty with no maths knowledge whatsover would take a bet like that on. I tried this and I owe u a tenner lol :cry:

Maybe I've misunderstood what the bet is here and if I'm wrong then I apologise again :oops:

I'm not knocking the book btw - a great review :wink:

QUESTION:
If we can sue McDonalds for making us fat and cigarette companies for giving us cancer; why can't we sue Smirnoff for all the ugly gits we've sh*gged ??
User avatar
moonbeam
Elite Member
 
Posts: 2436
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 9:59 am
Location: Burnley (52:AH)

Postby Stephen Ward » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:18 am

This sounds like a good book. It is not normally my kind of thing but this may be worth a read. I will have to look into getting this.

Stephen Ward
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 5848
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:21 pm
Location: Lowestoft, UK (44:CP)

Postby Tomo » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:28 am

Let's try again:

1. Cut a deck in 5 places and turn the packets over to reveal 5 cards.

2. If they're all below 9, you win a quid, if not I win a quid.

3. Repeat ten times and hand over the money :lol:

wit hproper presentation it can look as if it should be a simple 8/13 against 5/13 chance in your favour but it's actually far less. Okay, it's a mug punt, but it's only an idea.

Image
User avatar
Tomo
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 9866
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Darkest Cheshire (forty-bloody-six going on six)

Postby dorian » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:04 pm

Your cheque is in the post Tomo ;-)

Dean

User avatar
dorian
Preferred Member
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:18 am
Location: Scotland (34:AH)

Postby katrielalex » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:12 pm

Gah! Ace, 2, 3, 7, 9!

Kati

In hibernation but half awake - will stick my nose in every so often!
User avatar
katrielalex
Elite Member
 
Posts: 2545
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: 16:AH (in hibernation! will try to check up here every so often though)

Stats

Postby DrTodd » Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:51 am

I have ordered this book based on the review, my dusty stats texts are sometimes too dry for the average reader and this looks fresh!

User avatar
DrTodd
Elite Member
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:44 am
Location: East Bergholt

Postby IAIN » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:20 am

..just had a nose round amazon.co.uk, they've got stat hacks for £13, plus a few others available too...

IAIN
 

Postby Tomo » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:39 am

Cool! The first section of Mind Performance Hacks is good because it has has loads of different mnemonic systems - ideal for the budding Derren Brown.

Image
User avatar
Tomo
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 9866
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: Darkest Cheshire (forty-bloody-six going on six)

Postby IAIN » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:43 am

...i ordered stat-hacks, im resisting anymore as i've been quite a greedy boy this month already...i've got six books to get through this month so far...trying to be a little sensible at least... :wink:

IAIN
 


Return to Archived Reviews - now closed

Visit Magicbox for all the latest and best effects! Best prices around! Dude That's Cool Magic Manufacturer of modern & unique magic apparatus! World-Of-Magic, Suppliers of quality Magic Worldwide UK's Online Magic Tricks and Jokes Shop offers kids and beginner magic tricks and jokes. Best prices around! Web Design for Magicians

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests