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Feb 18, 2021

A couple decades ago we used analog maps to navigate.

Analog maps are scale models of reality. Using them required knowledge. You had to know where you were, where you wanted to go and be able to plot a route to get there. It was work.

GPS changed all that.

Today we use digital maps and increasingly navigate in a willful blindness. We ask the algorithm to show us where we are, we give it a general idea of where we want to go. We enter: Italian Restaurant, and it plots a route and tells us every turn along the way. We engage in this willful blindness because GPS works. We trust it. It leads us to an Italian restaurant we didn’t know existed and let’s us know it is good.

In the same way, we use mental maps to navigate the world. They are internal representations of our reality that help us navigate relationships and experiences. But, they are not reality as it actually is. We call this a map of meaning. It’s purpose is to quickly (and without conscience thought) attach meaning to events. Just like GPS there is a program running, which allows us to operate in a willful blindness. But, here’s the rub. Can you trust your internal algorithm? What if your GPS isn’t getting you where you want to go?

Your mental map may need an upgrade.

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