What Knowledge is Useful? > Companies and Functions
Howard Raiffa on ASDT
In ‘61 we published a book called Applied Statistical Decision Theory. It was published through the Division of Research here at the Business School. It didn’t make sense for us to use that publisher, because it was a very technical book, and the research group at the Business School didn’t do anything in mathematics. But yet they did a fine job of the publication.
Schlaifer, he’s even more of a perfectionist than I. So while there were lots of difficult hieroglyphics, it was done well. That book must have sold, I don’t know, 300 copies, 500 copies?
But in the year 2002, something like that, John Wiley had a committee looking at great classics, and he chose that book for statistics as one of the great books. And so it was reprinted, and sold more copies in the reprinting than the original. But the original took us, oh, probably three years to write. And it was really the proof that we had to show that the problems could be tractable; could be made tractable with these new concepts, but they all featured the use of judgmental probabilities.