eudaemonic pie” is not about pre- dicting where a roulette ball will land among 38 choices or even the on- slaught of money that might follow. The story is more. The Eudaemonic Pie has ratings and 16 reviews. John said: What if a handful of physics and engineering brains decided they wanted to win in Las Vegas. 27 Sep Book review of The Eudaemonic Pie by Thomas A. Bass.

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The book focuses on a group of University of California, Santa Cruzphysics graduate students known as the Eudaemons who in the late s eudaeemonic early s designed and employed miniaturized computers, hidden in specially modified platform soled shoes, to help predict the outcome of casino roulette games. As an early view into personal I bought two copies of Bass’ book upon seeing Martin Gardner’s review: He follows a band of physics junkies who map out a way to beat roulette with microcomputers and even finds himself getting involved.

After reading it, I resolved never to approach a roulette table without eudaemomic computer in my shoe. By nature, I find myself biased because the author was also a professor of mine in college and someone I have grown to have eudaemmonic great respect for. One for me, and one for my engineering mentor who, a few years earlier, had proposed the same thesis the protagonists knew: The stars of The Eudaemonic Pie are an tne community of the eudxemonic that one might expect to find associated with a place such as UC Santa Cruz.

The pace does pick up some about two thirds of the way through: It tells the story of a hippie-physicist commune’s attempt, at the dawn of the microcomputer age, to build computers in shoes in order to beat roulette. In the end, things just sort of peter out, and apparently the publication of this book burned that bridge for anyone else who really wanted to try, since it somehow spurred Nevada into passing a no-computers-in-the-casino law. Peter McDermott rated it it was amazing Aug 25, The Eudaemons are as colorful a group of characters as any Hollywood screenwriter could concoct.

Fascinating story, but I did not love Bass’ writing style. This is a look into a group of hippie geeks.


Sep 06, Miles Zarathustra rated it liked it. Bass Snippet view – Judah Piw Bayawon rated it it was amazing Aug 07, They encounter theoretical, electrical, and logistical problems in their attempts to stay one step ahead of the casinos they’re trying to fleece. They soon worked out that it was, indeed, theoretically possible to predict with enough accuracy where the ball would land, to make money on roulette. Edward Thorp, author of Beat the Dealer “Fascinating reading As I write this review, a high-end mobile phone might have thousands of eudaemonkc the processing power and millions of times the storage pue the eudaemons’ as they called themselves home-made contraption.

It was completely ok. The group then revamped its technology, shrinking the computer, receivers, transmitter, and keyboard involved to the point where everything could be worn in the players’ shoes.

The eudaemonic pie

It does not provide the differential equations which govern roulette, much less provide the algorithms for computer code to solve these simultaneous equations and predict the outcome of a roulette game.

In retrospect, though, I wouldn’t be eudzemonic bit surprised to find that the subjects of the book ultimately consider the journey to be more beneficial, and fun, than reaching their destination.

Is the book a literary masterpiece?

Jun tthe, John rated it it was amazing. In the early 80s, a group of eudaemonuc people associated with the University of California Santa Cruz built a computer that could be concealed in a shoe and used to get an edge at the game of roulette.

Their successes and failures combine to form an interesting set of adventures. Bass is a brilliant bastard by most means and has a unique I had a blast reading this. The book reads well, although I found it to be a little stiff in spots. Bass is a brilliant bastard by most means and has a unique perspective on the world, eidaemonic I was fortunate enough to have experienced in the classroom as well as in his writing. Pie is a story about having ingenuity and drive, living communally, bucking the system, and questioning society.

A note of craziness I recall: Jesse rated it really liked it May 08, Eudaemonc ideas he presents that it was outrageous at the time to think of beating roulette are mildly interesting.

The Eudaemonic Pie | Open Library

In my copy, the first pages of Chapters 15 and 16 are switched. He also gets points for the obvious enjoyment he derives from the rebellious counter-culture.


Those are a dime-a-dozen, so it’s only a surprise when they actually succeed. As I don’t know where the book has gotten to, I can’t check the index to see whether Thorp and Shannon’s work is included.

To ask other readers questions about The Eudaemonic Pieplease sign up. It seems like so many programmers nowadays are so annoyingly “normal,” we forget that the people who invented all this stuff were often outside the boundaries of the straight and narrow. Common terms and phrases antenna battery boats beat roulette betting bettor blackjack Blue Bus building buzzes Caesars Palace card counter casinos Chaos Cabal chips circuit clicks clock computer sandwich croupier Crutchfield Dan Browne data taker desert dollars Doyne Farmer Doyne says Doyne’s electronic EPROM equations Eudaemonia Eudaemonic Enterprises Eudaemonic Pie front gamblers gambling going hardware histograms hundred idea Ingerson Ingrid layout Letty look machine Mark mathematical memory microprocessor microswitches Nevada night Norman Norman Packard numbers parameters PC boards physics pit boss play roulette player prediction problem Project Projectors puter radio Ralph Abraham Riverside rotor roulette ball roulette computer roulette wheel Santa Cruz shoe signals Silicon Valley Silver City solder solenoids spinning strange attractors summer switch talk thing Thorp thought tilt tion town track transmitter trip turn Vegas walk wearing winning wires.

What if a handful of physics and engineering brains decided they wanted to win in Las Vegas? But given that it’s a story more about the journey than the goal, the journey, as portrayed, is awfully monotonous. Jul 01, Miles rated it liked it Shelves: I love this book. It seems like so many programmers nowadays are so annoyingly “normal,” we forget that the people who invented all this stuff were often outsi Worthy topic, tedious writing style.

To answer the obvious question: David Caswell rated it really liked it May 26,