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The Eudaemonic Pie: The Amazing Adventure of the Eudaemons and Their Roulette Computer

The Eudaemonic Pie: A Book Review

Have you ever wondered if it is possible to beat the odds at roulette? Have you ever dreamed of building a device that can predict the outcome of a spinning wheel? Have you ever been fascinated by the intersection of physics, mathematics, engineering, and gambling? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be interested in reading The Eudaemonic Pie, a non-fiction book by American author Thomas A. Bass.


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What is The Eudaemonic Pie?

The Eudaemonic Pie is a book that tells the true story of a group of physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and hackers who attempted to create a wearable computer that could beat roulette in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The book was first published in 1985 by Houghton Mifflin and has since been reprinted by in 2000.

The plot of The Eudaemonic Pie

The book follows the adventures and misadventures of the Eudaemons, a name derived from the Greek word for happiness. The Eudaemons were a loosely organized collective of brilliant and eccentric individuals who shared a common passion for science, technology, and gambling. They believed that they could use their knowledge and skills to create a device that could measure the speed and position of a roulette ball and wheel, and transmit the information to a hidden earpiece that would tell them where to place their bets.

The book chronicles their trials and tribulations as they experimented with various prototypes, tested their theories in real casinos, faced technical glitches, legal challenges, ethical dilemmas, and personal conflicts. The book also explores the scientific principles behind their invention, such as chaos theory, Newtonian mechanics, electronic circuits, and computer programming.

The characters of The Eudaemonic Pie

The book introduces us to a colorful cast of characters who were involved in the project, such as:

  • Doyne Farmer, the charismatic leader of the group, who had a background in physics and mathematics.

  • Norman Packard, Farmer's friend and collaborator, who was also a physicist and mathematician.

  • Ken Shirriff, a computer engineer who designed and built the hardware for the device.

  • Keith Taft, an electronics expert who had previously invented a blackjack computer that could count cards.

  • Claude Shannon, the father of information theory, who advised and supported the group.

  • Edward Thorp, the author of Beat the Dealer, who had also devised a roulette computer in the 1960s.

  • Thomas Bass, the author of the book, who was a journalist and a friend of Farmer.

The themes of The Eudaemonic Pie

The book explores various themes that are relevant to both science and society, such as:

  • The nature of randomness and order in complex systems.

  • The ethics and legality of using technology to gain an edge in gambling.

  • The challenges and rewards of pursuing a creative and unconventional project.

  • The human and social aspects of scientific collaboration and innovation.

  • The quest for happiness and meaning in life.

Why is The Eudaemonic Pie worth reading?

The Eudaemonic Pie is not only a fascinating and entertaining account of a remarkable experiment, but also a valuable and insightful book that can teach us a lot about science, technology, and society. Here are some of the reasons why you should read this book:

The historical and scientific significance of The Eudaemonic Pie

The Eudaemonic Pie is a book that captures a pivotal moment in the history of science and technology, when the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering were converging and transforming the world. The book shows how the Eudaemons were pioneers and visionaries who anticipated and influenced the development of chaos theory, artificial intelligence, wearable computing, and the internet. The book also explains the scientific concepts and methods that underlie their invention in an accessible and engaging way.

The literary and stylistic merits of The Eudaemonic Pie

The Eudaemonic Pie is a book that is written with flair and finesse, blending facts and fiction, humor and drama, science and art. The book is structured as a narrative that follows the chronological order of events, but also includes flashbacks, anecdotes, dialogues, descriptions, and reflections. The book uses vivid language and imagery, metaphors and analogies, quotes and references, to create a rich and immersive reading experience. The book also has a distinctive voice and tone, that is informal, conversational, witty, and captivating.

The personal and social impact of The Eudaemonic Pie

The Eudaemonic Pie is a book that can inspire and challenge us as individuals and as members of society. The book shows us how the Eudaemons pursued their passion and curiosity, despite the obstacles and risks they faced. The book also shows us how they balanced their personal lives, relationships, values, and goals with their professional ambitions, achievements, failures, and lessons. The book also raises important questions about the role and responsibility of science and technology in society, such as the ethical implications of using them for gambling or other purposes.

How to download The Eudaemonic Pie?

If you are interested in reading The Eudaemonic Pie, you might be wondering how to get a copy of the book. One way to do so is to download it as a PDF or RAR file from the internet. But what are these files and how do you open them?

What is a PDF file?

A PDF file is a Portable Document Format file that can store text, images, graphics, fonts, and other information in a fixed layout. A PDF file can be viewed on any device or platform without losing its original appearance. A PDF file can also be printed or shared easily. A PDF file usually has the extension .pdf at the end of its name.

What is a RAR file?

A RAR file is a Roshal Archive file that can compress one or more files or folders into a smaller size. A RAR file can reduce the space needed to store or transmit data. A RAR file can also encrypt or protect data with passwords or checksums. A RAR file usually has the extension .rar at the end of its name.

How to open a PDF or RAR file?

To open a PDF file, you need a software program that can read PDF files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Google Chrome. To open a RAR file, you need a software program that can extract RAR files, such as WinRAR or 7-Zip. You can download these programs for free from their official websites or from other sources online. Once you have installed these programs on your device, you can double-click on the PDF or RAR file you want to open, or right-click on it and choose the appropriate option from the menu.



Here are some frequently asked questions about The Eudaemonic Pie and their answers:

  • Who are the Eudaemons and what does their name mean?

The Eudaemons were a group of physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and hackers who tried to beat roulette with a wearable computer. Their name comes from the Greek word for happiness, which is what they were seeking in their project.

  • How did the Eudaemons' device work and how accurate was it?

The Eudaemons' device consisted of a microprocessor, a radio transmitter, a switch, and an earpiece. The switch was hidden in a shoe and was used to measure the speed and position of the roulette ball and wheel. The microprocessor calculated the likely outcome of the spin and sent it to the earpiece via the radio transmitter. The earpiece played a musical tone that indicated where to place the bets. The device was estimated to have an accuracy of about 44%, which was enough to give them an edge over the house.

  • What were the main challenges and risks that the Eudaemons faced?

The Eudaemons faced many challenges and risks in their project, such as technical glitches, legal issues, ethical dilemmas, personal conflicts, and physical dangers. They had to deal with faulty batteries, broken wires, jammed switches, interference signals, casino security, law enforcement, moral questions, internal disputes, and violent threats. They also had to cope with stress, fatigue, paranoia, and boredom.

  • What happened to the Eudaemons and their device?

The Eudaemons eventually abandoned their project after a series of setbacks and losses. They realized that their device was not reliable enough to sustain long-term profits and that their lifestyle was not sustainable either. They decided to pursue other interests and careers in academia, industry, or entrepreneurship. They also dismantled their device and donated some of its parts to museums or collectors.

  • Where can I find more information about The Eudaemonic Pie or related topics?

If you want to learn more about The Eudaemonic Pie or related topics, you can check out some of these sources:

  • The Predictors, another book by Thomas A. Bass that follows up on the lives and work of the Eudaemons.

  • The Newtonian Casino, a British edition of The Eudaemonic Pie that has some additional details and photos.

  • Bringing Down the House, a book by Ben Mezrich that tells the story of another group of MIT students who used card counting to beat blackjack.

  • 21, a movie based on Bringing Down the House that features Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess.

  • Numb3rs, a TV series that features a mathematician who helps his FBI brother solve crimes using math and science.



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