( KINDLE ) ♤ The Measure of Reality: Quantification in Western Europe, 1250-1600 ♾ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

This book is an incoherent mess Buried somewhere among the thickets of impenetrable prose, run on sentences and sundry atrocities against the English language is a semi decent idea But Alfred W Crosby sorely lacks the skills to bring it to light It s rare that a book can actually make me flinch, but AWC managed it on every other page Two sample paragraphs convey the flavor of the writingPantometryis one of the neologisms that appeared in increasing numbers in the languages of Europe in This book is an incoherent mess Buried somewhere among the thickets of impenetrable prose, run on sentences and sundry atrocities against the English language is a semi decent idea But Alfred W Crosby sorely lacks the skills to bring it to light It s rare that a book can actually make me flinch, but AWC managed it on every other page Two sample paragraphs convey the flavor of the writingPantometryis one of the neologisms that appeared in increasing numbers in the languages of Europe in the first half of the second Christian millennium, words summoned into being by new tendencies, institutions, and discoveries Milione and America are others A general surge ofin the 1200s rendered a thousand thousand obsolete and inspired a convenient replacement milione Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci and the like created the need for America two centuries or so later These words were sparks thrown off by the wheels of Western society veering and grating against the sides of old ruts The veerings and gratings are the subject of this book, but first we must examine the ruts, that is to say, the view of reality that most medieval and Renaissance Western Europeans accepted We can begin by putting aside the word rut The raison d etre of this book is to describe an acceleration after 1250 or so in the West s shift from qualitative perception to, or at least toward, quantificational perception Most particularly, we want to ferret out the source of that acceleration The latter half of the assignment is daunting, and before we begin we must discuss just what we are looking for lest we convince ourselves we have found it before we get to it This is scientific writing at its worst bloated inclusion of the neologism America has nothing to do with the point he is trying to make the second paragraph could be written simply as This book aims to describe an acceleration in the West s shift from qualitative to quantitative perception that occurred after 1250, and to pinpoint its source , meandering what does that third sentence mean, anyway , and inelegant to the point of ugliness quantificational , that hideous wheels and sparks metaphor, with its dreary corollary, that the book is about veerings and scrapings The book is easily twice as long as it needs to be, and there is much meandering, repetitive bloviation which tends to obfuscate, rather than illuminate, whatever argument the author is trying to make His credibility is not enhanced by glib, fanciful, and largely inaccurate characterizations of the nature of mathematics and of science Although he acknowledges the central role of commercial and related accounting activities as an impetus towards improved measurement, he stints it implicitly by giving it only 20 pages of text, while devoting fully 60 pages to music and painting as stimuli This seems frankly skewed, as does his failure to discuss scientific developments in an adequate fashion But this is an author who has no evident understanding of mathematics or the scientific method, who is unable to distinguish between true progress in mathematics, numerology and mathematical mysticism This leads to paragraphs like the following India, the home of Buddha, has produced and continues to produce a disproportionate number of brilliant pure mathematicians The West has produced most of the good applied physicists, engineers, and accountants This may or may not be true of late, but I am speaking historically One of history s most interesting problems is the question of why It is impossible to take this kind of sloppy rubbish seriously This is a bad book, by an extremely mediocre scholar Crosby is best known for his path breaking scholarship on European colonial expansion, Ecological Imperialism and The Columbian Exchange, which discuss the happenstance biological advantages that allowed Europeans to overwhelm the Americas springboard to world domination, and this book makes a lovely conclusion to this trilogy Writing a longue dur e history is a challenge for anyone, but especially when tackling changes, rather than continuities, across generations and cultures Happily, Cros Crosby is best known for his path breaking scholarship on European colonial expansion, Ecological Imperialism and The Columbian Exchange, which discuss the happenstance biological advantages that allowed Europeans to overwhelm the Americas springboard to world domination, and this book makes a lovely conclusion to this trilogy Writing a longue dur e history is a challenge for anyone, but especially when tackling changes, rather than continuities, across generations and cultures Happily, Crosby has a gift not only for insight and synthesis, but also for engaging prose Of all the authors I read in grad school, none was afun read than Crosby.I don t think he entirely escapes the trap of Europeans did it right, unlike everyone else , but it s hard to tell a story of conquerors without centering the story on them What does the use of Hindu Arabic numbers, linear perspective painting, polyphonic singing and double entry bookkeeping have in common Some very provocative answers are provided by Alfred Crosby in his clear and ambitious book The Measure of Reality Quantification and Western Society 1250 1600 Crosby systematically compares the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period in the areas of astronomy, cartography, mathematics, painting, music, commerce, accounting, military techniques space as well as What does the use of Hindu Arabic numbers, linear perspective painting, polyphonic singing and double entry bookkeeping have in common Some very provocative answers are provided by Alfred Crosby in his clear and ambitious book The Measure of Reality Quantification and Western Society 1250 1600 Crosby systematically compares the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period in the areas of astronomy, cartography, mathematics, painting, music, commerce, accounting, military techniques space as well as spiritual and historical time.He argues there is a direct line between an increase in measurement, mathematical symbols, logical symbols, rational analysis and universal scientific judgments as we proceed from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period Crosby shows how so many of the scientific inventions of the early modern period specifically the activity of measuring required the use of visual technology Everything from telescopes to microscopes from clock making to algebra from shipbuilding navigation to perspective painting and musical scores involved sight Composers, painters, astronomers and bookkeepers were committed to quantitative visual perception in the material of their craft Essentially, he argues that the quantification of reality was one of the secrets that made the Western world different from the rest of the world for better and for worse Crosby has a rare skill of being grounded in scientific study while being able to write for an educated lay audience This is a wonderful book I enjoy reading about the history of science, which if I had to categorize this book, it would most appropriately fit there However, I often get lost in the deep philosophical underpinnings of the discipline I m not an eager or happy reader of philosophy This book started out well, not diving too deeply into that end of the pool However, by the middle of the book, it took hold Honestly, I can t say I understood anything that Crosby wrote in the chapter about music Sadly, that was one of th I enjoy reading about the history of science, which if I had to categorize this book, it would most appropriately fit there However, I often get lost in the deep philosophical underpinnings of the discipline I m not an eager or happy reader of philosophy This book started out well, not diving too deeply into that end of the pool However, by the middle of the book, it took hold Honestly, I can t say I understood anything that Crosby wrote in the chapter about music Sadly, that was one of the subjects in which I had the greatest interest Gladly, I found the chapter on the invention of double entry bookkeeping the basis of modern accounting the most fascinating Despite the slow pace, I enjoyed reading this slim volume However, given its intellectual density, it took me a lot longer to read than anticipated Reading was hard work in some places I don t imagine there are a lot of people interested in my review of an obscure 22 year old text published by a university press If they have this book on their to read list, my review won t swing them one way or another For the casual reader, I d suggest reading this one chapter at a time, whenever the mood struck Plowing through in one reading might be too much for the casual reader, like me, without a background in natural philosophy or the history of science ( KINDLE ) ♌ The Measure of Reality: Quantification in Western Europe, 1250-1600 ♫ Western Europeans were among the first, if not the first, to invent mechanical clocks, geometrically precise maps, double entry bookkeeping, precise algebraic and musical notations, and perspective painting More people in Western Europe thought quantitatively in the sixteenth century than in any other part of the world, enabling them to become the world s leaders With amusing detail and historical anecdote, Alfred Crosby discusses the shift from qualitative to quantitative perception that occurred during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance Alfred W Crosby is the author of five books, including the award winning Ecological Imperialism The Biological Expansion of Europe, Cambridge, This book is interesting in how it covers how we came to measure time, zeroed in on an accurate calendar, the growth of math, notating music, double entry accounting, and how perspective originated in art It is a bit full of big words and references to people and books that can get to be a bit much However, it is short and worth it for anyone interested in the origins of many things we take for granted today. The ascent of west started with quantification While the present era occupies a heap full smartest PhDs to measure ad hit ratios, the renaissance started incorporating measurement a proxy of a reality, b repeatability and c ability of participants to ask non abstract questions into art, music and commerce The latter sponsored the former two This book is a delightful tour of how west started to measure and fell in love with it. Does exactly what it says on the tin If you want to know about the rise of quantification in Western Europe, 1250 1600, this is a great resource. The columbian exchange and ecological imperialism were both amazing books I found this one the most cumbersome of the trilogy, but still worth it. Couldn t finish it.