Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein

By Peter L. Bernstein

A company Week, ny occasions enterprise, and united states this day Bestseller

"Ambitious and readable . . . a fascinating creation to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as precise humanists supporting to unencumber mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." -The ny Times

"An terribly enjoyable and informative book." -The Wall road Journal

"A energetic panoramic publication . . . opposed to the Gods units up an formidable premise after which grants on it." -Business Week

"Deserves to be, and without doubt can be, broadly read." -The Economist

"[A] demanding booklet, person who may possibly switch perpetually the best way humans take into consideration the world." -Worth

"No one else can have written a ebook of such vital significance with quite a bit allure and excitement." -Robert Heilbroner writer, The Worldly Philosophers

"With his superb wisdom of the historical past and present manifestations of threat, Peter Bernstein brings us opposed to the Gods. not anything love it will pop out of the monetary global this yr or ever. I communicate rigorously: nobody may still leave out it." -John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University

during this special exploration of the function of chance in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the idea of bringing chance less than keep an eye on is among the primary principles that distinguishes sleek instances from the far-off prior. opposed to the Gods chronicles the awesome highbrow experience that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers through the strong instruments of hazard administration which are on hand to us today.

"An super readable background of risk." -Barron's

"Fascinating . . . this difficult quantity may help the uncertainties that each investor needs to face." -Money

"A singular achievement." -Times Literary Supplement

"There's a transforming into marketplace for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein might mingle good of their company." -The Australian

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Extra resources for Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

Example text

But the Greeks asked why that should be so, in all right triangles, great and small, without a single exception to the rule. Proof is what Euclidean geometry is all about. And proof, not calculation, would dominate the theory of mathematics forever after. This radical break with the analytical methodologies of other civilizations makes us wonder again why it was that the Greeks failed to discover the laws of probability, and calculus, and even simple algebra. Perhaps, despite all they achieved, it was because they had to depend on a clumsy numbering system based on their alphabet.

245. 63 1200–1700: A THOUSAND OUTSTANDING FACTS 64 Chapter 3 The Renaissance Gambler Piero della Francesca, who painted the picture of the Virgin that appears on the following page (“The Brera Madonna”), lived from about 1420 to 1492, more than two hundred years after Fibonacci. His dates place him at the center of the Italian Renaissance, and his work epitomizes the break between the new spirit of the fifteenth century and the spirit of the Middle Ages. Delia Francesca’s figures, even that of the Virgin herself, represent human beings.

Now the ridiculous complications of using Roman numerals became clear to everyone. The breakthrough gave a great lift to commercial transactions. Now al-Khowârizmî’s multiplication tables became something that all school children have had to learn forever after. Finally, with the first inklings of the laws of probability, gambling took on a whole new dimension. The algebraic solution to the epigram about Diophantus is as follows. If x was his age when he died, then: Diophantus lived to be 84 years old.

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