Friday, June 23, 2017

boundaries



Taking a shower in a friend's house, I looked at the world map shower curtain in reverse, and something struck me. I looked at Europe and Africa right next to each other, and the shapes and sizes of the countries in each. I had a thought, which a glance at North America, east and west of the Mississippi, confirmed.

The thought is this: the boundaries of Europe were drawn, with exceptions, on the ground. The boundaries of Africa were drawn on paper (in Europe). The boundaries of the eastern US states were drawn on the ground — that is, by living there; the ones of the western states were drawn on paper — that is, using maps rather than real living experiences.

Look at the difference through that lens: the sizes and shapes, on the scale of human communities on one hand and monumental on the other.

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