Starting 2022-11-11, Scope of Work’s Reading Group is reading James Vincent’s Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants. James is a senior reporter for the Verge, the Vox Media site devoted to technology and society. From the publisher:
In this revelatory work of science and social history, James Vincent dives into its hidden world, taking readers from ancient Egypt, where measuring the annual depth of the Nile was an essential task, to the intellectual origins of the metric system in the French Revolution, and from the surprisingly animated rivalry between metric and imperial, to our current age of the "quantified self." At every turn, Vincent is keenly attuned to the political consequences of measurement, exploring how it has also been used as a tool for oppression and control.