Mathematical Knowledge is power

A supposedly wise ruler asked a servant what he’d like as a reward for an act of bravery. The servant said he’d like a grain of rice on the first of the 64 squares on the emperor’s chessboard, two on the second, four on the third… doubling the number of grains for each square. By the 64th square he’d have accumulated 264-1 grains (18,446,744,073,551,615) or more than a thousand years’ worth of the world’s rice production.

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