Steven Strogatz on calculus and limits from an ongoing series on math:
What’s so charming about this calculation is the way infinity comes to the rescue. At every finite stage, the scalloped shape looks weird and unpromising. But when you take it to the limit — when you finally “get to the wall” — it becomes simple and beautiful, and everything becomes clear. That’s how calculus works at its best.
Compare with a recent interview with photographer Joseph Koudelka’s definition of “the maximum.” Mathematicians and photographers, both examine repeatable good and iteration, definitions of limits, and reaching a wall.