Comment of the Day: Fictional Maps Edition

In today's comments, we theorized about the curious habits of predators and prey, looked at the very saddest of the sad Hulks (the Sulks!), and tried to pin-point just how to make the most perfect of imperfect maps.

In response to this post on Bonini's Paradox — the more perfectly a model or map represents something the less useful it is — commenter tamnonlinear points us to someone else who told us the same story through fiction: Lewis Carroll.

In Lewis Carroll's books, he had two great examples of maps. In The Hunting of the Snark, the crew of the boat had a map that dispensed with the unnecessary distractions of conventional markings - the map was a perfect and absolute blank. In Sylvie and Bruno, on the other hand, the inhabitants of a small country had a perfectly accurate map with scale of 1 in = 1 in, but found that it was difficult to unroll, as the farmers complained that it covered the crops, and besides, the real world served nearly as well.

Image: Andrey Armyagov / Shutterstock