Today one may complain that life has been reduced to points in a matrix of relations—cities, territories, and historical narratives prematurely refined into categories of known and unknown, real and virtual, concrete and abstract space. And yet, when we need to locate a crucial resource (or ourselves, for that matter) who can afford not to search the grid for what everybody knows to be there?—the Italian restaurant, the emergency room, the ancestor, the terrorist. This is not simply about seeing; by definition, navigation organizes timescales and orders of magnitude that cannot be visualized simultaneously. Furthermore, in attempting to map and record various terrains and domains, contemporary navigators are themselves mapped and recorded at the same time. Super-modernity’s expansive enclosures of global infrastructure, time-zone logistics, and data behaviorism become external abstractions as much as computational and territorial facts.
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