Imperialist Geography

People ask me what it means to be a geographer. Most people think of memorizing state capitals. I tell them I make and study maps, I also tell them about Tobler’s law : everything is related, closer things are more related than distant things. For my thesis, I wrote about Afghanistan, a country whose fate is determined by its physical and cultural geography.

Saying your’e a geographer or a cartographer makes you sound like a British Orientalist from the 19th century, but until American stops behaving like 19th century Britain in its foreign policy we’ll still need cartographers: