# RESEARCH ARTICLES | RISK + CRYSTAL BALL + ANALYTICS

## Algorithms and the New Millennium

Dr David Berlinski (2000) makes the historical observation that two great ideas have most influenced the technological progress of the Western world:

The first is the calculus, the second the algorithm. The calculus and the rich body of mathematical analysis to which it gave rise made modern science possible; but it has been the algorithm that has made possible the modern world. (Berlinski, p. xv)

Dr Berlinski concludes that:

The great era of mathematical physics is now over. The three-hundred-year effort to represent the material world in mathematical terms has exhausted itself. The understanding that it was to provide is infinitely closer than it was when Isaac Newton wrote in the late seventeenth century, but it is still infinitely far away…. The algorithm has come to occupy a central place in our imagination. It is the second great scientific idea of the West. There is no third. (Berlinski, pp. xv-xvi)

Source: Berlinski, D (2000). The Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from an Idea to the Computer. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.

Related Posts: Enter the Algorithm

## Decision Warranties

According to Prof Ronald A Howard (1992):

Three of the warranties that I would like to have in any decision situation are that:
1. The decision approach I am using has all the terms and concepts used so clearly defined that I know both what I am talking about and what I am saying about it;
2. I can readily interpret the results of the approach to see clearly the implications of choosing any alternative, including of course, the best one; and
3. The procedure used to arrive at the recommendations does not violate the rules of logic (common sense).

Plain and simple... Source: Howard, R A (1992), Heathens, Heretics, and Cults, Interfaces, 22(6), 15-27.

• 11 June 2010
• Author: mckibbinusa
• Number of views: 2171

## Decision Warranties

According to Prof Ronald A Howard (1992):

Three of the warranties that I would like to have in any decision situation are that:
1. The decision approach I am using has all the terms and concepts used so clearly defined that I know both what I am talking about and what I am saying about it;
2. I can readily interpret the results of the approach to see clearly the implications of choosing any alternative, including of course, the best one; and
3. The procedure used to arrive at the recommendations does not violate the rules of logic (common sense).

Plain and simple... Source: Howard, R A (1992), Heathens, Heretics, and Cults, Interfaces, 22(6), 15-27.

## Risk versus Uncertainty

Prof Frank H Knight (1921) proposed that "risk" is randomness with knowable probabilities, and "uncertainty" is randomness with unknowable probabilities. However, risk and uncertainty both share features with randomness. The illustration below explains the relationship of the concepts better than words...

Source: Knight, F H (2002/1921), Risk, Uncertainty and Profit, Washington, DC: BeardBooks.

• 1 June 2010
• Author: mckibbinusa
• Number of views: 2857