"Quantity has a quality all its own" is a nice aphorism. It means that if you accumulate enough of something eventually you'll reach a realm that's radically (qualitatively) different. In military affairs, getting there "firstest with the mostest" has some of that quantity-quality feel. In mathematics, crossing the line between finite and infinite (and then between levels of infinity) does the magic trick. In physics, gathering many particles together engenders valuable new phenomena like surface tension, temperature, and entropy.

And turning the proverb around, consider: "Quality has a quantity all its own". Understand a problem deeply and the answer becomes obvious. Do something right and you don't have to do it again. Provide great examples and you don't need to give long explanations. (OK, so I still have to work on that last one, eh?)

(see also GeniusAndComplexity (25 May 1999), TransfiniteMeaning (31 Jul 1999), DeliberateSpeed (23 Aug 1999), ...)

TopicWriting - TopicThinking - 2002-08-31

(correlates: SlowThyself, ChurchOfOntology, PlusUltra, ...)