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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Location, Location, Location

(For the post title, we also would have accepted, "My Place in This World.")

The other day it occurred to me that perhaps not everyone occasionally pictures himself standing on a rotating oblong spheroid, which is revolving around a flaming ball. I do.

But then this evening I was walking, gazing at the stars, and in my deep philosophical mood it struck me that I have no clue about direction. So I don't point myself in the right direction, when I picture myself on the globe.

Do any of you take it that far?

Going the other way, do any of you (the materialists, perhaps?) ever view yourself as a collection of cells, or even a collection of atoms? If so, "What's it like?"

10 comments:

  1. Sidney11:11 PM

    I view myself as a collection of atoms, playing with another set of atoms (my laptop), communicating to other sets of atoms (you), while on a rotating oblong spheroid, which is revolving around a flaming ball.

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  2. Sidney11:12 PM

    On other days, I simply see myself as an early second coming of Tony Curtis.

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  3. OK but do you point yourself in the right direction when you picture yourself on the earth? E.g. if you're facing north, is that part of your mental picture?

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  4. Sidney8:45 AM

    I'm more concerned with my east-west bearings.

    But, yes I am aware of the compass settings of any location I am at. I am also aware in a general sense of my latitude and longtitude.

    Note: The most dfficult place for me to get my correct east-west bearing is Chicago, when you come from the east. Since in the east the ocean is to your east. When you are moving to the west coast, to the Pacifc Ocean the nearest body of water (the Pacific Ocean) is to your west. However, in Chicago the nearest body of water (Lake Michgan) even though you are moving west, is east.

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  5. I have the exact same problem with orientation in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill, since the water (New York Harbor) is to one's west.

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  6. I don't understand what you guys are talking about. Are you saying you have a subconscious orientation mechanism that relies on water, which is then thrown off in Chicago / Brooklyn Heights?

    Or are you saying if you need your bearings, you look and find where the water is (i.e. you can see it), but your instincts are always wrong at first when you spot it?

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  7. Andy Stedman2:39 PM

    Sidney,

    Chicago is way closer to the Atlantic than to the Pacific. Are you one of those east-coasters who considers Ohio to California "flyover country" and artificially compress that space in his mental map?

    Midwesterners are people too! (There just aren't so many of us.)

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  8. "I don't understand what you guys are talking about. Are you saying you have a subconscious orientation mechanism that relies on water, which is then thrown off in Chicago / Brooklyn Heights?"

    On the east coast of the US I expect to find sea water to my east/south (in CT it's mostly to the south). When I find it to my west in Brooklyn, I think I'm looking east.

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  9. Gene, does your bathtub throw you off? Is that why you never fill it? (Ohhhh!)

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  10. I just don't fill it with sea water.

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