Modern medicine could not exist without the thermometer, stethoscope, sphygmomanometer and glucometer, along with measures for blood cell count, hemoglobin, cholesterol, and countless other metrics. But unlike other measures that are confined to measuring a single dimension or quality, money has the capacity of assigning value to almost anything material or immaterial — physical objects, human labor, social status, information, obedience, loyalty and sometimes even love.
Today every food ingredient is carefully measured for its exact nutritional content. Coinage enabled ancient kingdoms to become military and economic powers, because it facilitated standardized valuation of products and services for the financing and maintenance of huge armies.
Right measurement is a powerful instrument for social progress; wrong or imprecise measurement a source of hazard and even havoc.
Wrong or imprecise measures are a source of hazard and even havoc.
They can result in wrong policy with disastrous consequences.
The development of modern economy has been made possible by continuous development and refinement of tools and measures.
The Domesday Book is a record of the first known numerical census conducted by William I of England in 1085 to identify arable lands, livestock, fisheries and other sources of national wealth as a basis for improved tax collection. Today economics employs a wide range of indispensable measuring tools, including GDP, the consumer price index, interest rate, money supply, exchange rate and the unemployment rate.
Global satellite navigation has made the chronometer obsolete.