By Peter L. Bernstein

ISBN-10: 0470534532

ISBN-13: 9780470534533

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

"Ambitious and readable . . . an attractive creation to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as precise humanists aiding to liberate mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." -The ny Times

"An terribly pleasing and informative book." -The Wall highway Journal

"A full of life panoramic booklet . . . opposed to the Gods units up an bold premise after which provides on it." -Business Week

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

"[A] hard publication, one who may well switch ceaselessly the best way humans take into consideration the world." -Worth

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

"With his magnificent wisdom of the historical past and present manifestations of probability, Peter Bernstein brings us opposed to the Gods. not anything love it will pop out of the monetary international this 12 months or ever. I converse conscientiously: nobody may still leave out it." -John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University

during this special exploration of the position of danger in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the suggestion of bringing hazard lower than keep an eye on is among the vital rules that distinguishes glossy instances from the far-off previous. opposed to the Gods chronicles the striking highbrow event that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers via the strong instruments of probability administration which are on hand to us today.

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

"Fascinating . . . this not easy quantity may help you already know the uncertainties that each investor needs to face." -Money

"A singular achievement." -Times Literary Supplement

"There's a growing 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 could mingle good of their company." -The Australian

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

Sample text

For example, mere measurement would confirm that the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. 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.

Although Aristotle suggested that people should make decisions on the 33 basis of “desire and reasoning directed to some end,” he offered no guidance to the likelihood of a successful outcome. Greek dramas tell tale after tale of the helplessness of human beings in the grasp of impersonal fates. When the Greeks wanted a prediction of what tomorrow might bring, they turned to the oracles instead of consulting their wisest philosophers. The Greeks believed that order is to be found only in the skies, where the planets and stars regularly appear in their appointed places with an unmatched regularity.

12 With their sharp distinction between truth and probability, Sambursky contends in a paper written in 1956, the Greeks could not conceive of any kind of solid structure or harmony in the messy nature of day-to-day existence. Although Aristotle suggested that people should make decisions on the 33 basis of “desire and reasoning directed to some end,” he offered no guidance to the likelihood of a successful outcome. Greek dramas tell tale after tale of the helplessness of human beings in the grasp of impersonal fates.

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


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