History of Science Shitcommenting
A recent post on History of Science and Mathematics stack exchange asks:
What makes the right angle special enough to be distinguished in the
French metric system?
Why was the right angle chosen? A somewhat equivalent question: Out of
all possible angles, why is the right angle particularly special?
This kind of question astounds me. It reminds me of this
episode from Understood Betsy:
She weighed out the salt needed on the scales, and was very much
surprised to find that there really is such a thing as an ounce.
She had never met it before outside the pages of her arithmetic
book, and she didn't know it lived anywhere else.
Does this person seriously not know what a right angle is, apart from
some formal definition involving ninety degrees or whatever? Do they
know that a right angle lives outside the pages of a mathematics text?
Anyway, I was shocked, and left
RIGHT ANGLE SPECIAL. IF WALL NOT BUILT AT RIGHT ANGLE TO GROUND,
I expected this would be quickly deleted, and might even earn me a
reprimand from the moderators. It didn't, and now has seven upvotes.
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