Nice piece. Really appreciate how Venkatesh dissolves the lines between the technological and the natural. And this is good advice for people like me, who sometimes wax on the poetic in describing some technologies.

Taking refuge in numbers when faced with technological complexity is in part an acknowledgment of the poverty of a poetically enacted humanist life script . Numbers are how we grope for the trans-human.

I save my number-appreciation for private contemplation, and sometimes wax lyrical on this blog, but there is never any doubt in my mind. Numbers are the more fundamental mode of appreciation. And if your mathematical abilities limit you to mere counting, so be it.
Lots of pictures in this post. Unusual for me. +Daniel Pritchett ... your Neal Stephenson Morlock/Eloi quote proved very helpful in framing this post as well as a talk I am doing in Chicago next week.
Shared publiclyView activity