20 years ago I noticed a simple index of our educational decline: books and magazines would run maps without a scale of miles. I created a sheet titled “Map Alert,” which made the point that maps without a scale of miles are no longer maps. They are abstract art. Only a fool or an ignoramus would run a map without a scale of miles. (I sent Map Alert to many editors, some of whom even apologized!)
Which brings us to Time magazine, June 21, 2010, and its long article on cleaning up the mess in the Gulf. On pages 56-57, there’s a "map" of the huge area from Texas to Florida showing various oil wells. Very interesting, I thought, as I settled in to see what was what and where. Then I realized there was no way for me to compare distances I know with distances on the map. Many people speak of a Golden Age when Time was respectable and trustworthy. Alas. (I often think the whole magazine should be written by Joel Stein. At least it would be funny.)
Please see “MAP ALERT” here.