In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

In this debut about an investment banker, Rahman explains why 9/11 and the credit crunch were so unpredictable - that only with hindsight we rationalise that they should have been predicted. You'll also learn the uncertainties of advanced mathematics: Godel's Incompleteness Theorem serves as a metaphor that humility is our best attitude before random events and best friends who turn out indecipherable. You'll need time for some epic pondering.

Extract

I listened to Zafar attentively without interrupting him, much as I wanted to. I had no clear question but only a vague uneasiness with this unfamiliar face - or rather, faces - this fluctuation from crystal clarity of exposition to a barely restrained fury. Anger is not an emotion I've had much truck with, not in family life and not even at work, where, contrary to the popular image, the trader and banker is more egghead than hothead. Anger makes me uncomfortable; anger, when it shakes off the authority of a human being and breaks out, is disturbing. And that is what the anger of my friend felt like to me, a man whom I had thought the model of self-possession.

Parallels
  • Capital by John Lanchester
  • The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels
  • The Last Jet Engine Laugh by Ruchir Joshi