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 educationEdit

Poundstone attended MIT and studied physics.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

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.
  • Poundstone, William (1984). The Recursive Universe: Cosmic Complexity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge. 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.
  • Poundstone, William (1992). Prisoner's Dilemma: John von Neumann, Game Theory, and the Puzzle of the Bomb. 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.
  • Poundstone, William (2005). Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street. 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.
  • Poundstone, William (2014). Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody. ISBN 978-0316228060.
  • Poundstone, William (2016). Head in the Cloud: Why Knowing Things Still Matters When Facts Are So Easy to Look Up. 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 linksEdit