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From “One Goat” to “The Number One”

We didn’t always have numbers—we had to invent them first. Here’s how the birth of math changed everything. Anthropological studies all over the globe have confirmed that in the most primitive cultures, numbers as abstract entities have no meaning at all. In other words, you can talk about one tree, two bananas or three goats, […]

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The Lure of the Abyss

What’s so fascinating about the dark? The word “abyss” may be one of the oldest words still in use. We can trace its roots with certainty back to the ancient Greek “abyssos,” and possibly back to the Sumerian “abzu,” which would make this word, at the very least, 6,000 years old. In all those millennia, its meaning […]

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