Incorrect Maps and Broken Territories

Today is April 1st, and you're probably getting some really good practice telling pranks apart from real things in our increasingly absurd world. It's a good occasion to think about one of the most powerful conceptual tools you can learn to work with: the map-territory distinction. Or to use Big Philosophy of Science Words, the distinction between models and phenomenology. Many April Fools jokes work by exploiting map-territory distinctions, but on other days, failing to grok this distinction can lead to much more serious consequences. In some ways, map-territory philosophy is the biggest concern of our time. From Deleuze and Guattari's famous idea of "striated and smooth" (which you can think of as "map and territory") to Nassim Taleb's ideas of antifragility, and from deep learning technology to hacker wisdom, map-territory philosophy is everywhere you turn. Disruption theory, Boydian competition theory, mindfulness meditation: map-territory ideas are at the heart of all. And closer home, the very idea of "breaking smart" is about playing map-territory games for fun and profit. So here's your introduction.

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