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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Buy a Map

As the saying goes, "The map is not the territory."

But it is the map. And I love them.

It's been overused now, but I remember the first time I saw this:

I was standing in front of a professor's office door in college, and he had a poster of a galaxy in his window. A little arrow was pointing near the edge of the spiral, and on it was hand-written: "You are here."

That's what a map does for me. It situates me in the universe.

Do you know the astronomical symbol for earth? It looks like this:

Look familiar? A version of it is also in the logo for my pages.

Now, imagine yourself in a boat in the middle of the ocean. The horizon is a large circle. And you could plot every location within your view using an x and y axis (two lines running perpendicular to each other.) And where is the logical meeting point for these axes?

They run right through you.

When I look at a map, that's what I see. I see temples, and parks, and historic sites, and mountains, and train stations, and museums--all in relation to where I am.

So buy a map of your neighborhood, your country, your planet. Locate yourself, then locate other places in relation to you. (A globe works nicely, too--or Google Earth.)

Don't worry about where you're going; just find out where you are.

You'll be happier.

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