It would only be the most heartless of us who would be unable to identify with the Roman engineer who had to calculate the product of MCML x IV. Or maybe not, most have probably never really thought it through but next time you see one of the astonishing aqueducts spanning a river valley in Europe, think about the people who built it and how they calculated it wouldn't fall. For the next two thousand years.
|Before you say it, I know it's neither |
Roman nor Mesopotamian, but I did like the graphic
Both work equally well and indeed you will see Japanese people performing mental arithmetic as their fingers imperceptibly flick beads up and down an imaginary adding machine. And this week I'll be interviewing someone who, on their resume, state that one of their life achievements was to gain Grade II in the use of the abacus. I guess they meant soroban but assumed I wouldn't understand. I do, but I also remain impressed as always by someone who has a skill I have yet to master.