Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Error of TruthHow History and Mathematics Came Together to Form Our Character and Shape Our Worldview$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Steven J. Osterlind

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831600.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 April 2020

Rare Events

Rare Events

(p.181) Chapter 11 Rare Events
The Error of Truth

Steven J. Osterlind

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Charles Babbage, Difference Engine, Poisson, Poisson distribution, Prussian horse kick, Fourier transform

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .