Gerald Warfield’s story “The Number of the Tribe” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 November 2017.
I love to speculate on the origin of things, how one concept is built on another, is built on another, all the way back to—when? Mathematics should be traceable to a time when someone realized that it was useful to have more numbers than one had fingers. But the specifics of those earliest events will remain forever shrouded in the proverbial mists. I like to think they were “secrets” guarded by shamans and passed down through a lineage of magicians, priests, and witches. How tenuous such knowledge must have been, conceived perhaps many times before entering the mainstream of what was then civilized thought.
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