Adventures in Probability
A compelling journey through history, mathematics, and philosophy, charting humanitys struggle against randomness[Michael and Ellen Kaplan] have hit on a great subject, and they explore it, down through the centuries and across the globe, with an enthusiasm that borders on glee. . . . A dizzying, exhilarating ride. (William Grimes, The New York Times)
Our lives are played out in the arena of chance. However little we recognize it in our day-to-day existence, we are always riding the odds, seeking out certainty but settlingreluctantlyfor likelihood, building our beliefs on the shadowy props of probability. Chances Are is the story of mans millennia-long search for the tools to manage the recurrent but unpredictableto help us prevent, or at least mitigate, the seemingly random blows of disaster, disease, and injustice. In these pages, we meet the brilliant individuals who developed the first abstract formulations of probability, as well as the intrepid visionaries who recognized their practical applicationsfrom gamblers to military strategists to meteorologists to medical researchers, from blackjack to our own mortality.
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