38 - The World According to Ronald Reagan
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
This parody map shows the world as Ronald Reagan (US president 1980-1988) might have imagined it. Even as parody, it indicates an interesting duality: on the one hand, it presents a view of the world as it no longer is, the Cold War having ended; on the other hand, it illustrates a disparaging outlook on the rest of the world that some would argue persists in to this day in American culture and foreign policy.
The map shows an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ bipolarity, with exaggerated sizes for (non-American) ‘good guys’ such as:
The ‘bad guys’ are:
Other areas are so insignificant (either in a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way that they’re portrayed as tiny:
Interestingly, the US itself is also divided into good and bad:
Image taken from this Wikipedia page.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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