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Advice From a Geographer: Put Away the Map

Our lives are saturated with maps. We see them in cars, subways, and airplanes. We access them with our phones, computers, and GPS devices. There are maps of deep space and of the topography of the deepest ocean floors. Then there are the maps of us of our genomes, of the cognitive landscape of our brains, of the web of neural connections that allow us to see and think and act. Our faith in the map as a true representation of reality, and a reliable metaphor for experience and the concepts of modern life, is exercised every day, largely without question.