chapter  5
15 Pages

The Law of Small Numbers

Japan is a nation far more populous than Great Britain or France; but the structure and the political physiognomy of the country have retained the characteristics of a small group of men, characteristics such as are likely to arise from neighbourhood, kinship, or teamwork. The modern mind nurtured on sciences mainly concerned with quantities, and all too accustomed to the use of mechanical magnifiers, likes to assume that between the behaviour of small and big things there is no difference-a typical layman's misunderstanding, for the true mathematician and physicist know very well that the realms of the small and the great often obey quite different rules. In social life the difference is profound and all-pervading.