|There is no Aral Sea, so why do our maps say there is? From EOSnap.com (2013)|
Monday, June 10, 2013
Rand McNallyitis: The Mental Disease Which Prevents Geographers and the World from Accepting Global Change
Rand McNallyitis: (n) 1. The mental disease which prevents geographers and the general public from accepting global change in one's mental map or understanding of the world. 2. The thought which believes if something is on a map it must be real and permanent.
Z Geography is back and has a great post musing on the fact all maps have the Aral Sea when the Aral Sea is no more.
Whether it is the now mostly gone Lake Chad, the now gone Aral Sea, or some historical geopolitical boundary that continues to pass down from SHP file to SHP, people have difficulty imagining that the world is different than what a map shows. I believe this thinking has prevented policy solutions in places where breaking up the country or reorganizing borders might be better than trying to keep artificial countries together (hint hint Pakistan/Afghanistan, almost all of Africa, Syria, etc). It also leads to people to hold on to out of date world views which ignore environmental changes, massive demographic shifts (religion in Latin America or the rise of non-Arabs in Arabia, the impact of immigration on First World countries), and much more. All this is a form of what I call Rand McNallyitis.
Geography: The World is Changing, Are You Adapting?