The Eudaemonic Pie
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A high-tech adventure about breaking the bank in Las Vegas with toe-operated computers. The result is a veritable piñata of a book, which, when smashed by the readers enthusiastic attention, showers upon him everything from the history of useless roulette systems to the latest developments in chaos theory, said The New York Times. Richard Dawkins called it an astonishing and fascinating tale of scientific heroism. The Los Angeles Times said that Bass has done the best job so far of capturing the marriage of technical imagination and the communal coziness that gave birth to Silicon Valley.
earning a living, until he finally loses his dreaming altogether and becomes an old fogey. "I have been very lucky on that score," Ingerson concluded, "for I have fallen into a job that allows me to behave very much like a little kid, because the university pays me enough so that I can afford to get nowhere. The result is that I attract kids around me who, like me, want to stay a little kid, but so far none of them has friends a challenge. they figured out how." When Ingerson moved to
called brains, batteries enand wires nerves. A remark about alpha waves meant that the was up and running, while brain broken wires or a short circuit My in the nerves are shot! referred to system. On the afternoon of December 7, 1977, Doyne and Alix loaded Raymond and Harry, along with the transmitters, receivers, and toeoperated microswitches, into the Blue Bus. Doyne drove into the Nevada on Interstate 80, his destination being the casinos Nevada line. Caught in a heavy snowstorm
position, the projected time of fall for the ball, trajectory over the sloping sides of the wheel, onto the spinning disk of numbers. As I walk into the Sundance, Clem from and New its final Mexico its collapse engaged program to a particular wheel, Doyne carries on a kind of dialogue between his big toes. The microswitch in his left shoe steers the computer in the process of setting parameters. To fit is the computer's into subroutines in its program, while the microswitch in the
him ol • I willing to expose himsell to statistical a 20 percent chance ol losing his shirt.) calculates his proper bank-to-bet ratio by locating the lnterse< tion oi the line. I 1 percent curve and the horizontal 80 percent SUCO He then drops down to the bottom ol the graph to see that he should divide his hank into 70 units. A gambler betting all his money on the first draw would be playing with a bank of one unit, while a more conservative player might wish to extend Wilson's
played in a casino. Note the curve for roulette, where the house holds an advantage over son's chart pertains to "flat-bet play in tors playing roulette — which is — not an even-payoff — the average player that looks positively usurious. player's probability of ruin — this time from the On left leading a side of Wil- a startling fact comes to light. The more units into which the average roulette player divides his bank, and the longer he tries to sta\ m the game, the greater his