Monday, December 12, 2011

y'

When Newton and Leibniz invented Calculus in parallel, they also invented two different notations for it. Leibniz used dy/dx to differentiate function y(x), Newton used y'. Although Newton's notation is more compact, Leibniz's is more expressive (neither is entirely "correct", but, they worked), and it turned out Leibniz made the better choice. His notation made further research easier and possible.

Then, weird things happened; Brits shunned all developments that come out of the mainland Europe, along with its "funny" notation. Result: Britain falls behind for decades, according to some, for centuries. All because of a stupid notation difference, and punk-ass nationalism.

Does this historical anectode relate to how Britain became the odd-man-out in Europe recently? Maybe. Maybe it doesnt.. It's like what-ever. Recent events just made me remember this little anectode, and I thought I share it. It's my bizzle my nizzle. Fo shizzle.

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