Egyptians & Geometry

Christian Rudder* claims that he enjoys picking new books by driving to a book store and pulling titles at random from shelves. In other words, without the internet. Seemingly odd for the founder of a popular website. In Dataclysm he writes that he has read some real bullshit on account of this approach, but also some true gems.

So I tried it. I recently visited Half-Priced Books and picked up a copy of Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. The sleek white book cover was enough. And fortunately, so far it's awesome ("so far" = halfway).

Per the author, the Egyptians invented geometry out of an interest in property rights. If you stole land you heart would be fed to the "devourer." Apparently this kind of penalty requires precise measurement to enforce, and thus geometry was born. Also, no masturbating in the temple. For serious: