Casting Aspersions on Modern Matrix Math?

The S.O.S. Mathematics primer on matrix algebra leads off thusly:

Matrices and Determinants were discovered and developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Initially, their development dealt with transformation of geometric objects and solution of systems of linear equations. Historically, the early emphasis was on the determinant, not the matrix. In modern treatments of linear algebra, matrices are considered first. We will not speculate much on this issue.

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