How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual

How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual


Long earlier than the age of "Big info" or the increase of contemporary "self-quantifiers," American capitalism embraced "risk"--and proceeded to quantity our days. existence insurers led the way in which, constructing numerical practices for measuring members and teams, predicting their fates, and intervening of their futures. Emanating from the gilded boardrooms of decrease big apple and making their method into drawing rooms and tenement residences around the state, those practices quickly got here to alter the futures they alleged to divine.

How Our Days grew to become Numbered tells a narrative of company tradition remaking American culture--a tale of intellectuals and execs in and round insurance firms who reimagined americans' lives via numbers and taught traditional american citizens to do an analogous. Making contributors statistical didn't ensue simply. Legislative battles raged over the propriety of discriminating by way of race or of smoothing away the consequences of capitalism's fluctuations on contributors. in the meantime, debates inside of businesses set medical professionals opposed to actuaries and brokers, leading to tricky, secretive platforms of surveillance and calculation.

Dan Bouk unearths how, in a bit over part a century, insurers laid the foundation for the much-quantified, risk-infused international that we are living in this day. to appreciate how the monetary global shapes smooth our bodies, how probability checks can perpetuate inequalities of race or intercourse, and the way the quantification and claims of danger on each one people keep growing, we needs to take heavily the background of these who view our lives as a chain of percentages to be managed.

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