The study of numbers and subsequent development of the probability theory over the last 450 years helped the human race to understand the randomness around. But at the same time this newfound knowledge deepened the confusion between risk and uncertainty and turned many into turkeys.
When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly forty years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course, there have been winter gales and storms and fog and the like. But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident…of any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort.
Those were the words of E.J. Smith, captain of RMS Titanic, the ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during its maiden voyage, drowning 1,500. Out of 2,200 people onboard only 700 could be saved.
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