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Mapmaking

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Not sure where this is going, but it's caught some attention in the blogopause. The Times wants to define your neighborhood by specific boundaries. LAist, LA Observed and LA Metblogs have bitten, though the latter two are a little suspicious of the effort.

It's easy to be cynical about any such effort, and I'd add that it's futile. It was easy for colonial powers to draw maps and police accordingly; it's a little more difficult for local administrators to fix someone's life with insistence; and it's nigh impossible for an institution without any police power at all to do so.

Deconstruction is all about words meaning different things to different people, and in the category of words are place names. If we're living in such an era, such an effort as fixing meaning to a place name is doomed to perplex at best and fail at worst.

"Don't write books, make maps," Deleuze said. To most philosophers, that means make your own maps. It also means: don't try to impose what's right for you onto everyone else.