Tinkering around with the Philippine election map on Inquirer.net was, at least for this unreconstructed political animal, a productive “waste” of time. But I must confess that, in the middle of play, this child of the 1970s was forcefully reminded of an icon of that decade, whose books were must-reads.
E. F. Schumacher began his Guide for the Perplexed with a consideration of the limitations of maps. The first paragraphs had made a deep impression on me, when I first read the Guide in the early 1980s; when the thought came to me, I stopped reading the Inquirer.net map and rooted around on the Internet for the prophet of appropriate technology (his most famous book, of course, was Small is Beautiful). I found this introductory chapter of the Guide, which truly left me less perplexed.
It then occurred to me that this was not the first time I had been given a map which failed to show many things I could see right in front of my eyes.