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How Instagram changes the way I look at things
This one is really lovely. Samuel Arbesman, a computational sociologist at Harvard, has created the “Milky Way Transit Authority” — a London-tube-like map of our galaxy.
Our galaxy is unimaginably vast, and we really have no idea what is out there. We are discovering new planets in other star systems all the time, learning new facts about the galactic core, and even learning about whole new portions of the galaxy. This map is an attempt to approach our galaxy with a bit more familiarity than usual and get people thinking about long-term possibilities in outer space. Hopefully it can provide as a useful shorthand for our place in the Milky Way, the ‘important’ sights, and make inconceivable distances a bit less daunting. And while convenient interstellar travel is nothing more than a murky dream, and might always be that way, there is power in creating tools for beginning to wrap our minds around the interconnections of our galactic neighborhood.
I have attempted to actually make this map as accurate as possible, where each line corresponds to an arm of our galaxy, and the stations are actual places in their proper locations. However, I am not an astronomer or astrophysicist, so there are certainly inaccuracies, gaps, and room for improvement. If you have a suggestion, comment, or criticism, please to do not hesitate to contact me by emailing arbesman at gmail dot com.
(Thanks to Shareable.net for this one!)
I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).
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