Roundtable podcast on the History of Quantification

JHIBlog

By Contributing Writer John Handel

with Dan Bouk, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (UChicago, 2015);

William Deringer, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age(HUP, 2018);

and Jamie Pietruska, Looking Forward: Prediction and Uncertainty in Modern America
(UChicago, 2017);

In his landmark 1990 book The Taming of Chance, Ian Hacking attempted to make sense of the “avalanche of printed numbers,” that appeared across Europe during the 19th century. (46) Ironically,  Hacking himself was participating in an avalanche of work on the history of numbers that proliferated during the 1980s and 1990s.These studies of numbers and the history of quantification ranged widely from the history of double-entry bookkeeping (Poovey, History of the Modern Fact), probability theory (Daston, Classical Probability), and insurance, statistics (Porter, Rise of Statistical Thinking) to economics (Tooze, Statistics and the German State). While…

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About dmf

alienist @ large, mostly on foot
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