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Download Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason by Gunnar Olsson PDF

By Gunnar Olsson

Humans depend upon cause to consider and navigate the summary international of human relatives in a lot an analogous approach they depend upon maps to check and traverse the actual global. ranging from that straightforward commentary, well known geographer Gunnar Olsson deals in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of how human notion and motion became deeply immersed within the rhetoric of cartography and the way this cartographic reasoning permits the strong to map out different people’s lives.A spectacular interpreting of Western philosophy, faith, and mythology that attracts on early maps and atlases, Plato, Kant, and Wittgenstein, Thomas Pynchon, Gilgamesh, and Marcel Duchamp, Abysmal is itself a minimalist advisor to the terrain of Western tradition. Olsson roams broadly yet regularly returns to the issues inherent in cause, to question the outmoded assumptions and glued principles that pondering cartographically includes. a piece of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will attract an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but in addition to someone drawn to the historical past of principles, tradition, and paintings. (20061024)

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Additional resources for Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason

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8 Already from birth Marduk is held to be everything, including a premonition of Janus, the Roman gatekeeper who from his watchtower at the middle of the bridge controls both sides of the abyss at the same time. To impose his will on the troublemakers, Marduk now blows a devastating flood wave. But instead of calming the rioters down this act upsets them so much that they convene an assembly in which Tiamat is authorized W H E N A B OV E to declare war on whoever was responsible for the killing of sweet Apsu.

So it can be told, the fascinating story of how the “Beta” translated the language of concrete geography into the idiom of abstract geometry, winding rivers of nature into straight lines of culture, the observatory on Mount Atabyrion the pivot of the world. In the words of one commentator, “a very striking achievement . . ”29 Not good enough, though, perhaps because Eratosthenes too readily succumbed to the Greek weakness for parallelism, in his case operationalized by means of straight lines and right angles, a coordinate net that makes it impossible to consider seriously the problem of the earth being round and the map being flat.

43 Facts are nevertheless facts. And although all roads lead to Rome, the city was not built in one day. Most importantly Rome was not Alexandria, the Emperor not the Librarian. As a consequence, and under the infl uence of Christian theology, the clear-headedness of Greek science eventually evaporated into the thin air of dogma and mysticism. Gone were the likes of Pytheas, Eratosthenes and Ptolemy, imaginative forgers of the uncreated conscience of their culture. 44 Special, though not unique, was a man called Cosmas Indicopleustes, one of the most remarkable children of cartographical reason ever to be.

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