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Julian Oliver: Cartography – the most influential art form? July 13, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, politics, religion, science, sociology.
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from: Julian Oliver Vimeo
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Video documentation of Julian Oliver’s keynote: Cartofictions: Maps, the Imaginary and GeoSocial Engineering at Inclusiva-net, Madrid 2008.

Abstract:
From the earliest world maps to Google Earth, cartography has been a vital interface to the world. It guides our perceptions of what the world is and steers our actions in it. As our knowledge about the world has changed, so have maps with it (or so we like to think).

In this lecture Julian shows a darker side of map-making, covering various reality-distorting effects innate to the graphic language of cartography and how they can be easily exploited for gain..

In doing so Julian positions cartography as an abstract and influentual creative practice, rich with the power to engineer political views, religious ideas and even the material world itself.

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Evolving a belief in God June 10, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in religion, science.
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Our capacity for religious belief is the result of natural selection

by Simon Underdown

guardian.co.uk

    The idea that humans are in some way special or set above all other species is an old one. Creation mythologies frequently see humans given dominion over the whole world as a result of recognising the god figure. The theory of evolution undermines this concept of superiority by demonstrating that humans are subject to the same evolutionary pressures as all other living things, hence the antipathy between evolutionary science and religious believers. However, as discussed from a religious perspective by Joanna Collicutt in her recent article, research in cognitive neuroscience suggests that religious belief is “hardwired” into our brains, through a desire to attach agency and purpose to inanimate objects and the most impersonal forces.

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