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History Discussion of History up to Circa 1990

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Old 03-16-2020, 11:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 219
Blaise Pascal

I question EV.

So, like any wannabe (legit) nerd I put on my make-believe math outfit and head over to ...Wikipedia

Anyway, I learned that this interesting character by the name of Blaise Pascal was perhaps the first to state the principle of what we know as Expected Value.

Neat facts about him:

- child prodigy educated by his father
- savant with numerous contributions to mathematics, physical sciences, philosophy, & literature
- didn’t bother to publish his findings regarding EV
- lived his life in poor health and died at 39
- identified with Jansenism

He fell away from his initial religious engagement, experiencing a “worldly period.” T.S. Eliot described him as “a man of the world among ascetics, and an ascetic among men of the world.” After an intense religious vision he returned to his faith and carried with him a document of Psalms 119:16: “I will not forget thy word. Amen.”

For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.

Blaise Pascal, Pensées No. 72


I don’t question EV anymore and am no longer writing a book in an attempt to redefine it. Phew, close one!!!
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