Monday, June 19, 2006

Maps & Coastline

Bill Whittle has posted the introduction to his book An American Civilization. I greatly anticipate reading more.

The introduction concerns his methodology, and it deserves close study: it is as perceptive a commentary on the state of our intellectual culture as I have seen. Here is a sample:

Well, there is something we can do. We can get up from the chartroom of theory, this dungeon of pointless debate and argumentation, and go upstairs and stand on the bridge. We can look at the world as it really is, and draw new maps as we go on.

When you use your common sense, your personal experience, over any of the so-called "social theories" being sold at fire sale prices, you are looking out the window and seeing whether or not the map matches the coastline. If it does not, then it doesn’t matter how credentialed or tenured or respected the cartographer is or was -– he is wrong. He says river delta; there sits a barrier reef. Wrong!

Via Black Five.

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