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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Admire John McPhee, Bill Bryson, David Remnick, Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr and James Martin (and most open and curious minds)

20.2.17

Map

Buckminster Fuller’s Map of the World: The Innovation that Revolutionized Map Design (1943)

Link to Open Culture

Posted: 20 Feb 2017 03:00 AM PST
Last week we brought you news of a world map purportedly more accurate than any to date, designed by Japanese architect and artist Hajime Narukawa. The map, called the AuthaGraph, updates a centuries-old method of turning the globe into a flat surface by first converting it to a cylinder. Winner of Japan’s Good Design Grand Award, it serves as both a brilliant design solution and an update to our outmoded conceptions of world geography.
But as some readers have pointed out, the AuthaGraph also seems to draw quite heavily on an earlier map made by one of the most visionary of theorists and designers, Buckminster Fuller, who in 1943 applied his Dymaxion trademark to the map you see above, which will likely remind you of his most recognizable invention, the Geodesic Dome, “house of the future.”

Whether Narukawa has acknowledged Fuller as an inspiration I cannot say. In any case, 73 years before the AuthaGraph, the Dymaxion Map achieved a similar feat, with similar motivations. As the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) points out, “The Fuller Projection Map is [or was] the only flat map of the entire surface of the Earth which reveals our planet as one island in the ocean, without any visually obvious distortion of the relative shapes and sizes of the land areas, and without splitting any continents.”
Fuller published his map in Life magazine, as a corrective, he said, “for the layman, engrossed in belated, war-taught lessons in geography…. The Dymaxion World map is a means by which he can see the whole world fairly at once.” Fuller, notes Kelsey Campell-Dollaghan at Gizmodo, “intended the Dymaxion World map to serve as a tool for communication and collaboration between nations.”
Fuller believed, writes BFI, that “given a way to visualize the whole planet with greater accuracy, we humans will be better equipped to address challenges as we face our common future aboard Spaceship Earth.” Was he na├»ve or ahead of his time? We may have had a good laugh at a recent replica of Fuller’s nearly undriveable, “scary as hell,” 1930 Dymaxion Car, one of his first inventions. Many of Fuller’s contemporaries also found his work bizarre and impractical. Elizabeth Kolbert at The New Yorkersums up the reception he often received for his “schemes,” which “had the hallucinatory quality associated with science fiction (or mental hospitals).” The commentary seems unfair.
Fuller’s influence on architecture, design, and systems theory has been broad and deep, though many of his designs only resonated long after their debut. He thought of himself as an “anticipatory design scientist,” rather than an inventor, and remarked, “if you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” In this sense, we must agree that the Dymaxion map was an unqualified success as an inspiration for innovative map design.
In addition to its possibly indirect influence on the AuthaGraph, Fuller’s map has many prominent imitators and sparked “a revolution in mapping,” writes Campbell-Dollaghan. She points us to, among others, the Cryosphere, further up, a Fuller map “arranged based on ice, snow, glaciers, permafrost and ice sheets”; to Dubai-based Emirates airline’s map showing flight routes; and to the “Googlespiel,” an interactive Dymaxion map built by Rehabstudio for Google Developer Day, 2011.
And, just above, we see the Dymaxion Woodocean World map by Nicole Santucci, winner of 2013’s DYMAX REDUX, an “open call to create a new and inspiring interpretation of Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map.” You’ll find a handful of other unique submissions at BFI, including the runner-up, Clouds Dymaxion Map, below, by Anne-Gaelle Amiot, an “absolutely beautiful hand-drawn depiction of a reality that is almost always edited from our maps: cloud patterns circling above Earth.”

The Radical Argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare - The New Yorker

The Radical Argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare - The New Yorker



A new edition gives Christopher Marlowe credit as a co-author of  “Henry VI,” Parts 1, 2, and 3.

19.2.17

The Human Zoos of the 19th Century | Flashback | OZY

The Human Zoos of the 19th Century | Flashback | OZY



Worcester state insane asylum postcard 1905

Life Lessons


Faith Salie: Tips on that dreaded "reply all"


On the matter of email etiquette, we have a cautionary tale from our Faith Salie:
What I’m about to tell you is not an opinion; it is a public service announcement.  It’s time to “reply all” responsibly. 
Please, for the love of all things holy and efficient, consider hitting “reply all” for your emails on which someone is cc’d.
“Cc” stands for carbon copy.  It means all the people in the “cc” column are getting the same information as the folks in the “To” line.  So even if you’re not in charge, you’re informed.
Cc means everyone’s fate is now entangled.

faith-salie-reply-all-emails-promo.jpg
Faith Salie has tips on email etiquette, including when (and when not) to use cc: instead of reply all.
 CBS NEWS

When you hit “reply all,” you’re including all the folks on the cc train. You’re keeping people in the loop, so no one spends his life copying and forwarding. No one has to say, “Phil moved our meeting to 9.45?? Nobody told me.”  And no one has to say, “Wait. I thought you were bringing the sleeping bags.”
Your reply all behavior can say a lot about you.
I once accidentally replied all and sent an email complaining about my then-boyfriend to a bunch of strangers.  It was meant for my friend who was a bride, but I ended up addressing her entire wedding party. Her marriage lasted; my relationship didn’t. I was young and trigger happy.
Here’s a simple guideline: if five names or fewer are cc’d, just go nuts and hit “reply all.” 
But if more than five folks appear in the cc line, pause. Give it a thought.  Some people are promiscuous and cc dozens of people who don’t need to know each other’s business. When your daughter’s second grade teacher cc’s all the parents in the class about the upcoming field trip, do you need to hit reply all so that 43 adults know your daughter objects to taxidermy in dioramas on ethical grounds?
Okay, also? If you’re ever bcc’d, do NOT go near reply all.  “Bcc” is “blind carbon copy.”  It means you’re a fly on the wall, dude! If you hit reply all, it’s beyond bad etiquette to out the person who gave you the superpower of invisibility. It’s like screaming “I’M A SPY!”
Look, we all think Al Gore invented email so we could save time and save paper, to save trees. And that includes phone trees
Let’s get it together and hit reply all responsibly.
Cc you later!
   
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More commentaries from Faith Salie:

David Bowie's Top 100 books

David_Bowie_-_TopPop_1974_10
“David Bowie Is,” the extensive retrospective exhibit of the artist and his fabulous costumes, hit Toronto last Friday (see our post from earlier today), and as many people have reported, in addition to those costumes—and photos, instruments, set designs, lyric sheets, etc.—the show includes a list of Bowie’s favorite books. Described as a “voracious reader” by curator Geoffrey Marsh, Bowie’s top 100 book list spans decades, from Richard Wright’s raw 1945 memoir Black Boy to Susan Jacoby’s 2008 analysis of U.S. anti-intellectualism in The Age of American Unreason.
Bowie’s always had a complicated relationship with the U.S., but his list shows a lot of love to American writers, from the aforementioned to Truman Capote, Hubert Selby, Jr., Saul Bellow, Junot Diaz, Jack Kerouac and many more. He’s also very fond of fellow Brits George Orwell, Ian McEwan, and Julian Barnes and loves Mishima and Bulgakov.  You can read the full list below or over at Open Book Toronto, who urges you to “grab one of these titles and settle in to read — and just think, somewhere, at some point, David Bowie (or, to be more accurate, the man behind David Bowie, David Jones) was doing the exact same thing.” If that sort of thing inspires you to pick up a good book, go for it. You could also peruse the list, then puzzle over the literate Bowie’s lyrics to “I Can’t Read.”
The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby, 2008
The Coast of Utopia (trilogy), Tom Stoppard, 2007
Fingersmith, Sarah Waters, 2002
The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens, 2001
Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler, 1997
The Insult, Rupert Thomson, 1996
Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon, 1995
The Bird Artist, Howard Norman, 1994
David Bomberg, Richard Cork, 1988
The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin, 1986
Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd, 1985
Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter, 1984
Money, Martin Amis, 1984
White Noise, Don DeLillo, 1984
Flaubert’s Parrot, Julian Barnes, 1984
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole, 1980
Interviews with Francis Bacon, David Sylvester, 1980
Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler, 1980
Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess, 1980
Raw (a ‘graphix magazine’) 1980-91
Viz (magazine) 1979 –
The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, 1979
Metropolitan Life, Fran Lebowitz, 1978
In Between the Sheets, Ian McEwan, 1978
Tales of Beatnik Glory, Ed Saunders, 1975
Mystery Train, Greil Marcus, 1975
Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara, 1974
The Quest For Christa T, Christa Wolf, 1968
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967
Journey into the Whirlwind, Eugenia Ginzburg, 1967
Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr. , 1966
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1965
City of Night, John Rechy, 1965
Herzog, Saul Bellow, 1964
Puckoon, Spike Milligan, 1963
The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford, 1963
The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin, 1963
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962
Inside the Whale and Other Essays, George Orwell, 1962
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark, 1961
Private Eye (magazine) 1961 –
Strange People, Frank Edwards, 1961
The Divided Self, R. D. Laing, 1960
All The Emperor’s Horses, David Kidd,1960
Billy Liar, Keith Waterhouse, 1959
The Leopard, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, 1958
On The Road, Jack Kerouac, 1957
The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, 1957
Room at the Top, John Braine, 1957
A Grave for a Dolphin, Alberto Denti di Pirajno, 1956
The Outsider, Colin Wilson, 1956
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1949
The Street, Ann Petry, 1946
Black Boy, Richard Wright, 1945