Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogger's Block and My/OurSpace

No, I haven't flown the coop. I've had blogger's block. I still have it but pledge (again) to post every day once more starting next Sundary since exactly 2 of you seem to think I have something of interest to say.

Favorite item of interest today: Harper's Magazine's cuckamonga "OurSpace" paean to the recently released Oxford Comprehensive Atlas of the World. (Psst, it's a "fifteen-pound, six-hundred-page, gold-gilt-edged, three-red-ribboned feast." Christmas is coming!

From the inspired article:

"...As a means of finding out about the world, the web is, in one way, without peer, but the narrowness of self tends to misdirect our use of that broad thing: our use of it mirrors our own constriction. MySpace indeed......

But the atlas, contributing editor Wyatt Mason posits, is:

More than merely being about the world, it bounds—binds—the world, and in a way that’s freeing. An atlas, any atlas, commands our interest, directs it outwards, forces us, agreeably, usefully, not to see ourselves, for once, as central to our world. We search an atlas for ourselves in vain: always, it exceeds us. This formal difference is productive. To be forced to encounter the world not on our terms but on the world’s terms teaches us a kind of intellectual and social humility.

My excerpting does the article little -- or no -- justice, by the way.

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