This chapter shows that the quantification worldview was not spreading uniformly across even the developed world. In the United States, the spread was slow, because nearly everyone was consumed with making a new country. It was also slow in Russia, because of the dominance of the Romanoff family and their wars, and it did not spread to the Middle East, because it was preoccupied with warring and had almost no widespread education system. In England, an engineer named Charles Babbage contributed to bringing a mindset of quantification to ordinary people, through his Difference Engines Nos. 1 and 2, possibly the first programmable computers with CPUs. In probability theory, statistical “rare events” are described, and how Siméon Poisson made them into a specialized distribution is explained simply, as is his Poisson distribution, illustrated by the famous example of Prussian horse kicks. Further advancements included the invention of Fourier transforms.
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