Kevrob <***@my-deja.com> wrote:

<snip>

*Post by Kevrob*I never even took calculus, and I know that differential equations

are used in probability and statistics. I did take some stats in

college, and I was a humanities guy, not a STEM student. Stats

is useful for things like public opinion polling, which I also

studied. It might have been wiser to have taken calculus, as my high

school offered it, but nobody ever mentioned to me at the time that

it would be useful for a PoliSci major. In retrospect, I might have

made some coin if I had gone into survey research, instead of falling

into bookselling. I enjoyed selling books, but it didn't pay.

_Quick Calculus, A Self-Teaching Guide _ (Kleppner and Ramsey) walks

you through everything you need to know in 262 pages. Don't let The

Calculus baffle-gab you. You're bright enough to master the Kleppner in

a few weeks, if you put your mind to it.

That was my ploy back in college. "Autodidact" (so to speak) the

nearest text then test out of The Calculus and move on to more

interesting things.

More interesting things, such as "De Motu" (Berkeley) [1]. The only

rub is that Berkeley wrote it in Latin. There's a high priced Jesseph

translation (the "element 79" standard of translations) and a far

cheaper Ayers translation available. The Ayers is now on its way to me,

naturally.

At first blush it seemed like Dartmouth's math department hosted a

"De Motu" translation [2], but that proves to be a false lead. Even

though it's a false lead, it /does/ offer up a measure of entertainment,

at least to me. YMMV.

6 And yet in the calculus differentialis, which method serves

to all the same intents and ends with that of fluxions, our

modern analysts are not content to consider only the differences

of finite quantities: they also consider the differences of those

differences, and the differences of the differences of the first

differences. And so on ad infinitum. That is, they consider

quantities infinitely less than the least discernible quantity;

and others infinitely less than those infinitely small ones; and

still others infinitely less than the preceding infinitesimals,

and so on without end or limit. Insomuch that we are to admit an

infinite succession of infinitesimals, each infinitely less than

the foregoing, and infinitely greater than the following. As

there are first, second, third, fourth, fifth, &c. fluxions, so

there are differences, first, second, third, fourth, &c., in an

infinite progression towards nothing, which you still approach

and never arrive at. And (which is most strange) although you

should take a million of millions of these infinitesimals, each

whereof is supposed infinitely greater than some other real

magnitude, and add them to the least given quantity, it shall

never be the bigger. For this is one of the modest postulata of

our modern mathematicians, and is a corner-stone or ground-work

of their speculations.

7 All these points, I say, are supposed and believed by certain

rigorous exactors of evidence in religion, men who pretend to

believe no further than they can see. That men who have been

conversant only about clear points should with difficulty admit

obscure ones might not seem altogether unaccountable. But he who

can digest a second or third fluxion, a second or third

difference, need not, methinks, be squeamish about any point in

divinity. ...

ROTFLMAO.

Note.

1. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/39746/39746-h/39746-h.html#toc53

2. https://math.dartmouth.edu/~matc/Readers/HowManyAngels/Analyst/Analyst.html

--

Don