>>13474413This book was published in 1997

>Mathematics-beyond-counting-fingers-and-toes probably originated in advances in such measurements as were required to weigh grain for sale arid to count and record large numbers of sheep and other animals in such marketplaces as those along the Tigris and the Indus, to measure the march of the heavens in order to choose the proper day for planting, and to survey wet, featureless fields in Egypt after Nile floods. But then practical measurement and mathematics diverged and have tended to maintain that separation ever since. Weighing, counting, and surveying were worldly activities, but mathematics proved to have transcendental qualities that intoxicated those trying to reach through the scrim of mundanity for truth. Surveyors must have known the Pythagorean theorem (the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides) for centuries before a member of their profession recognized its philosophical and mystical implications. The theorem, the surveyor decided, was evidence for the presence of the transcendental; it was abstract, perfect, and as eerily reverential as the appearance

of a rainbow out of mists and blowing rain. Then this proto-Pythagorean slogged out of the muddy fields and probably

founded a religious order. Pure mathematics and metrology have been separate subjects from that day to this.