the trouble with maps

1 mapping

Maps are not reality.

Even the most accurate maps only show some of the the facts relating to a place or an area.  As Denis Wood writes, in contemplating the power of maps:

‘They are, consequently, in all ways, less like windows through which we view the world and more like those windows of appearance from which pontiffs and potentates demonstrate their suzerainty.’*

Maps are a way of seeing things.  The status quo has maps, and so have gentle revolutions – one is not more real than the other.

Here’s how a map of Scotland was displayed today at a U.Labs Scotland event run by the Scottish Government – interesting, how something like this can change things.

scotland on its side

Four years ago, I’d met some people I sensed were going to be important to my exploring of new communities.  It’s proven to be the case.  I think we’re defining what a gentle revolution (and expression of an infinite game) might look like where we are, as we produce alternative maps for collaboration towards wellbeing.

We have to remember institutional maps are just their maps.  We don’t have to use it, or it doesn’t have to be the only map we use.

The gentle revolutionary knows the maps of the future will not only show what they are doing, but who they are becoming.

‘We have a physical, a spiritual, an emotional and a mental body.  The idea muscle is what powers the latter.’**

(*From Denis Wood’s The Power of Maps.)
(**From Claudia Altrucher’s Become an Idea Machine.)


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