ebook Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters

By Brian Klaas

cover image of Fluke

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This "captivating illustration of the follies of trying to model and forecast the unpredictable world" (Financial Times) is both "empowering" (The New Statesman, UK) and "compelling" (New Scientist) as it challenges our most fundamental assumptions—by social scientist and Atlantic writer Brian Klaas.
If you could rewind your life to the very beginning and then press play, would everything turn out the same? Or could making an accidental phone call or missing an exit off the highway change not just your life, but history itself?

In Fluke, myth-shattering social scientist Brian Klaas takes a deep-dive into the phenomenon of random chance and the chaos it can sow, taking aim at most people's neat and tidy version of reality. The book's argument is that we willfully ignore a bewildering truth: but for a few small changes, our lives—and our societies—could be radically different.

Offering an entirely new lens, Fluke explores how our world really works, driven by strange interactions and apparently random events. How did one couple's vacation cause 100,000 people to die? Does our decision to hit the snooze button in the morning radically alter the trajectory of our lives? And has the evolution of humans been inevitable, or are we simply the product of a series of freak accidents?

Drawing on social science, chaos theory, history, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Klaas provides a brilliantly fresh look at why things happen—all while providing mind-bending lessons on how we can live smarter, be happier, and lead more fulfilling lives.