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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

May 16, 2005

Direction blindness

Just been reading Rob's post on the Roadrage blog in which he mentions, among other things, the poverty of geography in the general knowledge of the UKs driving populace.

He's absolutely right. Most people have no idea where places are anymore. If you showed somebody a map of the UK in outline and asked them to point out where their town is, they'd be clueless.

And as a result most people would be lost if they had to detour away from the motorway conveyor belt.

It's weird. If you built a logical map of the UK based on the motorway network you'd end up with something highly virtual indeed. Very much like the underground map, where design triumphs over reality.

Motorway routes are designed to make you go the way that planners want you to go. Sometimes the motorway route from A to B is a hideous detour. Indeed several times, I've been utterly confused in my map reading because road signs point the long way round. It's no wonder that most people have absolutely no sense of direction at all.

PS. I received the field guide to bumblebees this morning. It's enlightening: I've come to understand why nobody has bothered to product a photographic field guide before. Basically all 22 species are identical.

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