Now take a look at architectural objects around us: they appear so geometrically sophisticated, from the pyramids to the beautiful cathedrals of Europe. So a sucker problem would make us tend to believe that mathematics led to these beautiful objects, with exceptions here and there such as the pyramids, as these preceded the more formal mathematics we had after Euclid and other Greek theorists. Some facts: architects (or what were then called Masters of Works) relied on heuristics, empirical methods, and tools, and almost nobody knew any mathematics—according to the medieval science historian Guy Beaujouan, before the thirteenth century no more than five persons in the whole of Europe knew how to perform a division. No theorem, shmeorem. But builders could figure out the resistance of materials without the equations we have today—buildings that are, for the most part, still standing. The thirteenth-century French architect Villard de Honnecourt documents with his series of drawings and notebooks in Picard (the language of the Picardie region in France) how cathedrals were built: experimental heuristics, small tricks and rules, later tabulated by Philibert de l’Orme in his architectural treatises. For instance, a triangle was visualized as the head of a horse. Experimentation can make people much more careful than theories.
Further, we are quite certain that the Romans, admirable engineers, built aqueducts without mathematics (Roman numerals did not make quantitative analysis very easy). Otherwise, I believe, these would not be here, as a patent side effect of mathematics is making people over-optimize and cut corners, causing fragility. Just look how the new is increasingly more perishable than the old.
— Taleb - Antifragile, p. 222