By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and in effect increases... mental power... Probably nothing in the modern world would have more astonished a Greek mathematician than to learn that, under the influence of compulsory education, the whole population of Western Europe, from the highest to the lowest, could perform the operation of division for the largest numbers. This fact would have seemed to him a sheer impossibility.
Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics (1911) Ch. 5, p. 59.