The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
|--Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, World Population Balance Board of Advisors|
At one time, when the famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss was in primary school, his teacher asked the pupils to add all the integers from 1 to 100 (or, at least, that's the most common version of the story). No doubt, the teacher expected this to occupy his students for a while, but Gauss produced the result almost immediately. This might seem to require lightning-fast mental arithmetic, but the truth is, the actual calculation needed is quite simple; the trick is really understanding the problem.
After the previous chapter, you may have become a ...