Assignment roads there would be post towns

Assignment 2

By Brad Sabourin

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“Neglect of
mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it
cannot know the other sciences or the things of the world.” (Roger Bacon,



            The Inca had a vast empire from the
tips of Ecuador, all the way down to the middle of Chile, and with this great
empire was a wide civilization.  Communication
between each town was very important to the Incan Empire as it was responsible
for the distribution of food between wide spreads of land. To do this, the Inca
had used a method of storing numeric information called Quipu.

             A Quipu, or knot-record, was a very unique way
of communicating information and keeping records from various Andean cultures and
Inca Empire dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE. Quipu’s would have
different colored strings hanging off the base string meaning various things,
usually to indicate how much of a material they have collected or how much they
were spending, and each knot had a corresponding numerical value. The Quipu’s mathematical
method was based on a decimal positional system, the highest number would be
located at the top of the string and the lowest number would be at the bottom. The
Incan mathematic decimal system is almost identical to our current system in
use today. They had intervals of 0 to 9, 10, 100, 1000, and even up to 10000. Some
quipu had as many as 1500 strings tied to the base string, and are woven in
different ways, suggesting that this too, had a meaning. The position of each
string is a critical part of their system too. Depending on how far each space
was away from each individual string, would determine the priority of that

             Scholars have recently predicted that the
Quipu was being used as some sort of memory aiding device, and that the Inca
Empire was progressing towards narrative recording, becoming a viable
alternative to written language just before the Empire collapsed. On the Incan
roads there would be post towns located approximately every 20 Kilometers, and
messengers would be positioned here to receive the Quipu’s. These Incan road
messengers were called “Chaski” and would travel up to 280 kilometers in a
single day using a relay system that the Incan Empire built. The Chaski would
commonly drop off the Quipu with an oral message to maximize the Quipu’s
potential for information storage. Since the Incan People did not have writing,
it was necessary to have Quipu to govern the empire. At Cuzco, Machu Picchu,
there were special government officials who could read Quipu called
“Quipucamayoc”. Because of Quipu, Incan Emperors could understand events
anywhere in the empire and could communicate to anyone in the empire instantly.
With this, the Quipu could record: imperial conquests, royal blood lines, census
data for Incan Provinces such as males, females, young people, old people, population
count, married individuals, un-married individuals, tax, accounts, store
information, livestock, land Measurements, army Size, astronomy, specific times
and dates, and basically, anything to do with numbers. What made Quipu’s
popular was the fact it was lightweight, and you could record massive amounts
of info on it without the worry of it being too heavy. This was key because the
Chaski had to travel vast distances across the Incan Empire in a single day. The
Incan Empire’s society revolved around the Quipu because it gave order to The
Empire by recording key information about the Population, taxes and recording
food production, then having to calculate the right amount of food for each
Province, and even to each person depending on how hard they worked.

            So why is all this relevant to
humanity? Because the recording of mathematics helped build their society, and
it has helped build ours today. Since the Inca had a very busy society, they
needed something to use to keep information of everything they did. To keep up with
the rapid growth of their empire, they used mathematics. Math was used in the Incan’s
everyday life.  They would use it for:
how much of a certain crop they have harvested, how much taxed they have payed,
how much people live in their family or how many married ones are living with

            Mathematics was their main source of
collecting information; In this day and age, its quite similar. with the
distribution of money on how hard you worked or with the record keeping of tax
collection, mathematics helped build our society like it did with the Incan
Empire. We see mathematics in our everyday lives, such as: counting your coins,
looking at a pattern on a quilt, measuring something like time or data usage,
people working on construction, symmetry, probability like gambling or even
tossing a coin, statistics, geometry like finding the right angle to hit your
golf ball, even in music when listening to each beat. Its all math; And with
the advanced technologies and society we have, we use it without even thinking
about it.

            On the opposite side of the
spectrum, we have gotten so far developed into mathematics, that it has increased
our understanding of knowledge so drastically we are creating languages from it
like physics and chemistry, opening our understanding to new things. In the 21’st
century, mathematics has been developing our technological standards, and
influencing our society.  Without mathematics,
we wouldn’t have discovered much of what we know and love today. Smart phones,
computers, cameras, and other such technologies wouldn’t have been created or
as efficient without mathematics. Aside from this, mathematics also helps develop
the society as a whole.  Mathematics in
some field of study such as: politics, law, engineering, architecture, human resource
management, and business is a valuable thing to understand, if not a necessity
to do so. Since mathematics is used in almost every profession, it helps
improve the living standards of people around the would.

            How is math important to humanity? Because
it has drastically changed the way we see the world today.   The
literal meaning of mathematics is “things which can be counted” now you can
cerebrate that counting has vital role in our circadian life; just imagine that
there were no mathematics at all, how would it be possible for us to count
members of the family, number of students in the class, rupees in the pocket,
runs in a cricket match, days in a week or in a months or years? On a
fundamental level you require to be able to count, integrate, subtract,
multiply, and divide. At a psychological level, exposure to mathematics avails
in developing an analytic mind and avails in better organization of conceptions
and precise expression of phrenic conceptions. At a more general level, far
away from dealing with the higher mathematical concepts, the paramountcy of
mathematics for a prevalent man underpinned. A mundane man is being
increasingly dependent upon the application of science and technology in the
day-to-day activities of life, the role of mathematics has indubitably been

             We live in a time of extraordinary and
expediting change i.e., an incipient phase of development. Incipient
cognizance, implements, and ways of doing and communicating mathematics
perpetuate to emerge and evolve. Calculators, too sumptuous for mundane use in the
early eighties, now are not only commonplace and inexpensive but more reliable
and faster. Quantitative information available to constrained numbers of people
a few years ago is now widely disseminated through popular media outlets.