I saw this excerpt from a forthcoming book today. The background of which reads like a Runyonesque tale with an delightful O. Henry ending:

"Hard times with a high roller"

"Ronald Probstein, an MIT academic who studied at Princeton and met Einstein, was raised by a compulsive gambler in Depression-era NYC, But, he reveals, his shady dad is the one who taught him about life — and math…"

The excerpt about the father, Sid Probstein.

The son, Ronald Probstein.

Mark Johnson writes:

It just so happened I was reading about this book yesterday and had many of the same thoughts. Many good lessons to be learned and interesting reading. The father, obviously very intelligent, never hit his stride, but his son did.

Stan Rowen opines:

I find the article about the son far more uplifting than the story of the dad. Why? He applied his math abilities to several important scientific domains that were of enormous long-term benefit to society. Unlike his dad, who had to hustle in marginal activities his whole life, and died broke. The nobility of math, science and engineering vs. the pathos of a cog in the seamy underworld.


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