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Against The Gods. The Remarkable Story of Risk October 14, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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As I am preparing for my presentation next week I was reminded of a book that I recommend all risk managers and security professionals read.  It is a book by Peter Bernstein called Against the Gods. The Remarkable Story of Risk.  You can get it at Amazon.com here.  While the book sounds dry, it is really a very fascinating look at the history of risk in humanity.  One of the examples is that of the title.  Before people really understood the concept of probability they had no real way of making calculated decisions such as when to sail across the seas.  In essence, you would pray to the gods that you would make it across the north Atlantic and…if the Gods were on your side you made it…if not…you didn’t.  Then one day someone said: “Hey…it seems like the gods are against us more often during certain times of the year than others…”  This was the origin of probability theory.  As you can imaging probability theory really came into fashion when people were trying to win at ‘games of chance’ which, as we know now, we are not really random rather based upon probability.  Overall, it is a great read and I highly recommend for the library.


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