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This out-of-print book on measurement by Brian Ellis is extraordinarily well thought out and presented. (One can find bootleg copies around the internet, and the information contained in the book would make the purchase worth while. Still, I prefer original copies of books in every possible situation, which is why I bought the particular copy I now own. )
In any case, if you have ever wondered how on earth people came up with measuring systems, or why we measure as we do, this book is the place to start.
My interest in measuring systems stems from my continuing observation of the loose field of study generally describable as "ancient metrology." One wishes that the workers in this field were more cogent of the logic of measuring systems in the abstract. I cannot but admit that I knew very little before I read Ellis' work, and I cannot imagine how I would work out concepts in my head without having read it.
Like the phenomenal "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" or "Ancient Law," this is a book you cannot imagine having not read once you're finished with it.
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