William Poundstone
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William Poundstone

William Poundstone is an American author, columnist, and skeptic. He has written a number of books including the Big Secrets series and a biography of Carl Sagan.

Early life and education

Poundstone attended MIT and studied physics.[1]

Personal life

An enthusiast of Harry Stephen Keeler, he maintains the Keeler homepage and contributed to the anthology A to Izzard: A Harry Stephen Keeler Companion (2002).

He is a cousin of comedian Paula Poundstone.[2]


  • Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth About All Sorts of Stuff You Are Never Supposed to Know. 1983.
  • The Recursive Universe: Cosmic Complexity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge. 1984. ISBN 978-0809252022.
  • Bigger Secrets: More Than 125 Things They Prayed You'd Never Find Out. 1986.
  • Labyrinths of Reason: Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge. 1988.
  • The Ultimate: The Great Armchair Debates Settled Once and for All. 1990.
  • Prisoner's Dilemma: John von Neumann, Game Theory, and the Puzzle of the Bomb. 1992. ISBN 978-0385415804.
  • Biggest Secrets: More Uncensored Truth About All Sorts of Stuff You Are Never Supposed to Know. 1993.
  • Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos. 1999.
  • The Big Book of Big Secrets. 2001. reprints Big Secrets and Biggest Secrets
  • How Would You Move Mount Fuji? : Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle—How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers. 2003.
  • Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street. 2005. ISBN 978-0809045990.
  • Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (and What We Can Do About It). Hill & Wang. 2008. ISBN 978-0809048922.
  • Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It). 2010.
  • Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?. 2011.
  • Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody. 2014. ISBN 978-0316228060.
  • Head in the Cloud: Why Knowing Things Still Matters When Facts Are So Easy to Look Up. 2016. ISBN 978-0316256544.
  • The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation that Predicts the Future Is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe. 2019. ISBN 978-0316423922. Released as How to Predict Everything in the UK[3] Description & arrow/scrollable preview. Also summarized in Poundstone's essay, "Math Says Humanity May Have Just 760 Years Left," Wall Street Journal, updated June 27, 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2020.


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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