In Chaucer's day, an hour varied between 40 and 80 minutes, depending on the latitude and time of year. Since then our time measurements have become much more exact; today the second is defined by the vibration of caesium 133 atoms. Similarly, our irrational measures of length, area, weight and volume were often related to the diverse sizes of man and varied widely in different jurisdictions until the metric systems was devised. The development of increasingly precise measurements are an essential part of what Samuel Macey identifies as the West's wide-ranging effort to "rationalize" human activity - to simplify and standardize the way we work and communicate with one another. In "The Dynamics of Progress", Macey examines the history of such rationalizations as they have manifested themselves not only in temporal and spatial measurement but also in the development of language, numerical systems and the processes of production, distribution and finance. He identifies a symbiotic relationship among these different types of rationalization, aiming to demonstrate that without the rationalizing of time, weights and measures, numbers and language, the scientific, technological and industrial advances of the past three hundred years would have been inconceivable. In addition to discussing rationalization in its various forms, Macey also addresses reactions against it.