Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton

The History of Calculus

I’m embarking on a new project with Green T Productions. I’ll be a consulting playwright on a work developed by the ensemble, similar to my role on Silkworms, though in this case I’m involved earlier, helping to choose and focus the subject matter. The working title is The History of Calculus, but I’ve promised we’ll change it to something less intimidating. (Though in a way that intimidation is what the play’s about. The experience of being stymied by math.)

Here’s a fun quote from the research material – Voltaire describing Newton’s achievement in inventing calculus:

It is the art of numbering and measuring exactly a thing whose existence cannot be conceived.

Reminds me of the 18th century trading company created to take advantage of the South Sea Bubble:

A Company for Carrying out an Undertaking of Great Advantage, but Nobody to Know What It Is.

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