I came across the phrase, “tame the infinite” in the following sentence of the article of New York Times (May 4) Travel column, titled “Easy China, 3 Ways”:
“For the first-time visitor to China, planning a trip to the most populous country on earth can be an exercise in trying to tame the infinite. Where to begin? Since most people will be flying into Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai, we suggest basing yourself in one of these three cities, each in its own state of frenzied transformation.”
I guessed “tame the infinite” means “It’s a very difficult question like challenging the infinite of mathematics” from the context of the sentence, and checked the phrase with Cambridge, Oxford and Merriam-Webster online dictionaries to make sure of its meaning. None of them registers “tame the infinite” as an idiom. Google Ngram shows no incidence either.
I found however, the book written by Kim Stewart, titled “Taming the Infinite - the Story of Mathematics” on amazon.
Does the use of the phrase (an exercise / attempt /plan to) “tame the infinite” by the New York Times writer suggests that the phrase is getting currency as a popular phrase or trendy expression?