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

By Peter L. Bernstein

A enterprise Week, big apple occasions company, and united states this present day Bestseller

"Ambitious and readable . . . an enticing advent to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as precise humanists assisting to free up mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." -The long island Times

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

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

"Deserves to be, and definitely should be, extensively read." -The Economist

"[A] tough ebook, person who may possibly switch eternally the best way humans take into consideration the world." -Worth

"No one else may have written a ebook of such relevant value with rather a lot attraction and excitement." -Robert Heilbroner writer, The Worldly Philosophers

"With his really good wisdom of the background and present manifestations of probability, Peter Bernstein brings us opposed to the Gods. not anything love it will pop out of the monetary global this yr or ever. I converse conscientiously: nobody may still pass over it." -John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University

during this detailed exploration of the function of chance in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the inspiration of bringing hazard lower than keep watch over is likely one of the vital principles that distinguishes glossy instances from the far-off prior. opposed to the Gods chronicles the amazing highbrow event that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers via the strong instruments of probability administration which are on hand to us today.

"An tremendous readable historical past of risk." -Barron's

"Fascinating . . . this hard quantity can help you already know the uncertainties that each investor needs to face." -Money

"A singular achievement." -Times Literary Supplement

"There's a turning out to be 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 may mingle good of their company." -The Australian

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

Example text

A Sicilian coin, issued by the Normans and dated “1134 Annoy Domini,” is the first known example of the system in actual use. Still, the new numbers were not widely used until the thirteenth century. Despite Emperor Frederick’s patronage of Fibonacci’s book and the book’s widespread distribution across Europe, introduction of the Hindu-Arabic numbering system provoked intense and bitter resistance up to the early 1500s. Here, for once, we can explain the delay. Two factors were at work. Part of the resistance stemmed from the inertial forces that oppose any change in matters hallowed by centuries of use.

Only the Bible has appeared in more editions and printings than Euclid’s most famous book, Elements. Still, the greatest contribution of the Greeks was not in scientific innovation. After all, the temple priests of Egypt and Babylonia had learned a good bit about geometry long before Euclid came along. Even the famous theorem of Pythagoras—the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides—was in use in the Tigris-Euphrates valley as early as 2000 BC.

As simple a number as 9 required two letters: IX. The Romans could not write 32 as III II, because people would have no way of knowing whether it meant 32, 302, 3020, or some larger combination of 3, 2, and 0. Calculations based on such a system were impossible. But the discovery of a superior numbering system would not occur until about 500 AD, when the Hindus developed the numbering system we use today. Who contrived this miraculous invention, and what circumstances led to its spread throughout the Indian subcontinent, remain mysteries.

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