Counting Quotes (5 quotes)

I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, The atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of General Chemistry.

If someone separated the art of counting and measuring and weighing from all the other arts, what was left of each (of the others) would be, so to speak, insignificant.

— Plato

Mathematics is not arithmetic. Though mathematics may have arisen from the practices of counting and measuring it really deals with logical reasoning in which theoremsgeneral and specific statementscan be deduced from the starting assumptions. It is, perhaps, the purest and most rigorous of intellectual activities, and is often thought of as queen of the sciences.

One can argue that mathematics is a human activity deeply rooted in reality, and permanently returning to reality. From counting on ones fingers to moon-landing to Google, we are doing mathematics in order to understand, create, and handle things,
Mathematicians are thus more or less responsible actors of human history, like Archimedes helping to defend Syracuse (and to save a local tyrant), Alan Turing cryptanalyzing Marshal Rommels intercepted military dispatches to Berlin, or John von Neumann suggesting high altitude detonation as an efficient tactic of bombing.

Standard mathematics has recently been rendered obsolete by the discovery that for years we have been writing the numeral five backward. This has led to reevaluation of counting as a method of getting from one to ten. Students are taught advanced concepts of Boolean algebra, and formerly unsolvable equations are dealt with by threats of reprisals.