A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford - Book Summary - Readtrepreneur
(Disclaimer: This is NOT the original book but an unofficial summary.)
The power of DNA and the information it holds is immense. Imagine using that information to discover our past. In our genomes, every one of us holds the history of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and sex. We are much more than our DNA but our DNA holds the keys to our past.
(Note: This summary is wholly written and published by readtrepreneur.com It is not affiliated with the original author in any way)
"This is a story about you. It concerns the tale of who you are and how you came to be." - Adam Rutherford
By sequencing the DNA of living people, we can obtain historical information that would otherwise remain unknown. History is shortsighted and can be flawed, family stories may be changed, but your DNA could never be altered nor could it ever lie. As author Adam Rutherford said, your DNA gives you your story and the story of your entire species. By sequencing only one person you can obtain more information than from any other source combined.
Adam Rutherford stresses the importance of the time period you are observing. "For comparison, the book you are holding is around 115,000 words, or 685,000 characters long, including spaces. If the length of time has existed were represented at this book, each character, including spaces is around 5,597 years. Anatomically, modern humans' tenure on Earth is equivalent to ... the precise length of this phase. The time we have been recording history is an evolutionary wing-flap equivalent to a single character, the width of this period;". DNA on the other hand has no time or memory limit.
P.S. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is an extremely interesting book which will help you locate your ancestors and "travel through time".
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Chapter 1. Optimal Stopping – When to Stop Looking
One thing that makes life difficult is not knowing when to stop – this has been labeled as the Optimal Stopping Problem. There is a danger of quitting too early and missing out on something good, or quitting too late and exhausting the little energy and time that we have.
Thankfully, there is an algorithm that will make decisions much easier. It’s not entirely foolproof, but it will produce better outcomes than doing things randomly.
The Optimal Stopping Problem deals not with what option to select but how many choices to consider. Based on statistical data, the ideal percentage is 37%.
The Secretary Problem explores the idea of Optimal Stopping. Someone tasked to hire a secretary has to choose among applicants, but he must know when to stop so that he will not miss someone who is good for the job.
In looking for the secretary, stopping late means prolonging the choice unnecessarily, while stopping too early lets the best applicant go unhired. The strategy is to find a reasonable balance between the two conditions.
Already translated. Translated by ANGELICA DE SANCHEZ