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The Calculus of Friendship by Steven Strogatz

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Continuity (1974-75)

Calculus thrives on continuity. At its core is the assumption that things change smoothly, that everything is only infinitesimally different from what it was a moment before. Like a movie, calculus reimagines reality as a series of snapshots, and then recombines them, instant by instant, frame by frame, the succession of imperceptible changes creating an illusion of seamless flow.

This way of understanding change has proven to be powerful beyond words—perhaps the greatest idea that humanity has ever had. Calculus enables us to travel to the moon, communicate at the speed of light, build bridges across miles of river, halt ...

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