Goodness me! What is it that we **don’t** measure?

We measure almost everything. Any time that we want to know how much, how big, how heavy, how strong, how clever … or to compare things, we seem to have created a scale for measuring them.

We measure (or attempt to measure) the strength of earthquakes, the pressure in our tyres, our bra/waist/shoe sizes, temperature, humidity, television and mobile phone signal strength, the brightness of stars, the mass of subatomic particles, the strength of magnets, human intelligence, the length of iron sheeting for roofing, the length of nails and pitch of screws, the amount of electricity and water that we use, the pitch of musical instruments, the skill level of gymnasts and divers … and the list goes on and on and on!

This is a wonderful adventure … learning how people throughout history have invented their own ways of measuring the things they value and the things that they want to control or manage.

Basically, measuring is the art of counting applied to quantities/things that are continuous. In every case, we must invent a scale and have a unit (or standard) against which we compare other things. I hope you enjoy learning about the history of measurement, the units that we use, about limits to our accuracy … and about money, angles, areas, speeds … and so many other things!

Units and Systems of Measurement

I enjoyed your presentation and no it wasn’t too long. Each subtraction algorithm has its merit as you demostrated, but after learning the “one up and one down” method, I’m employing it because of its speed and ease of usage. Even my wife, who hates mathematics with a passion, thinks it’s too easy. I look forward to your future presentations on both multiplication and number theory. I read an introduction text book some twenty five years ago on number theory by Oystein Ore who taught at Yale for better than twenty years. So in closing, please produce these lectures and the longer the better. Thanks.

Dennis Bell (on a CCM YouTube video about How to Subtract (Large) Numbers Easily)

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