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Arts & Culture

The Secret Lives Of Numbers

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Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

This hour, we look at the anthropological, psychological, and linguistical ramifications of the concept of numbers.

And we look at one philosophical question too: Are numbers even real in the first place?

GUESTS:

  • Brian Clegg - Author of Are Numbers Real? The Uncanny Relationship of Mathematics and the Physical World
  • Caleb Everett - Professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Miami and the author of Numbers and the Making of Us: Counting and the Course of Human Cultures

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired October 12, 2017.

Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident.

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