Sturmy's fundamental insight about ignoring details ...
About: Joshua Allen's post on Facebook
The first documented use of a proper arithmetic mean as statistical summary took place in 1666, and was performed by the delightfully named "Captain Sturmy".summary took place in 1666, and was performed by the delightfully named "Captain Sturmy".
1666 was the year the apple fell on Newton's head, differential calculus was discovered, Islamabad was named, and London's great plague and fire took place. It was a terrible year, but also goes down in history as "Annus Mirabilis", aka "Miraculous year". Something terrible and great, much like "Felix Culpa".
Of all the revolutionary accomplishments of that year, I'm going with Captain Sturmy as the sleeper hit of the Millennium. We are only just beginning to understand the power of gaining information through ignoring details. The arithmetic mean has revolutionized statistics, to be sure. But Sturmy's fundamental insight about ignoring details continues to underpin new frontiers in differential privacy, philosophy of free will (ala Belaguer and Searle), libertarian steganography, rubber hose cryptography, and almost anything else that really matters in this life.
Goethe was the prototype of "Sturm und Drang", and he battled with Newton over some of Newton's "Annus Mirabilis" claims. I am convinced the Sturm-father was in perfect kinship with Captain Sturmy's insights, though, and modern discoveries are proving Goethe's perspective correct. Likewise, the ascendance of Sturmy validates Goethe's strong stance against Schopenhauer/Crowley. The universe is not a machine of love under will, but rather the truth is, "Love is the only engine of survival".
This is why I suggest 1666 is our greatest generation, and why I think Captain Sturmy is the best example, rather than the common examples like Newton and Raphson.