New Yorkistan

Dave Long dl at
Thu Apr 17 10:49:20 PDT 2003

> But if you look carefully at New Yorkistan, you'll see New York,
> resistant as ever. Seventh Avenue is still in Schmattahadeen (the rag
> district), and La Guardia Airport is still Taxistan. ...

All the countability talk made
me pull GEB* down off the shelf,
which, among many other things,
considers "ASU's":

GEB, (Chap XII:Minds and Thoughts:ASU's)
> Imagine that you are given a strange atlas of the USA, with all natural
> geological features premarked ... but nary a printed word.  ... Now you
> are told to convert it into a road atlas for a trip you will soon make.
> You must neatly fill in the names of all states ... then ... cities,
> towns ... freeways ... country roads ... scenic areas, dams, airports,
> and so on.  All of this must be carried out down to the level that
> would appear in a detailed road atlas.  And it must be manufactured
> out of your own head. ... The end product will be your personal map
> of the "Alternative State of the Union" -- your own personal "ASU".

and asks one to imagine taking
a trip through the ASU -- but
with only a regular USA atlas
(or someone else's ASU atlas)
as a reference.

> In this geographic analogy, one aspect is very crucial: that there
> are certain definite, absolute points of reference which will occur
> in nearly all ASU's: New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and so on.
> From these it is possible to orient oneself. ... if I talk about a
> voyage from Atlanta to Milwaukee, it may go along different freeways
> or smaller roads, but the voyage itself can be carried out in both
> countries.  And if you start describing a trip from Horsemilk to Janzo,
> I can plot out what seems to me to be an analogous trip in my ASU,
> despite not having towns by those names, as long as you constantly
> keep me oriented by describing your position with respect to nearby
> larger towns which are found in my ASU ...

We don't share exactly the
same set of stringer glass,
but once we blob it down to
form beads, can we arrange
them in similar ways?


:: :: ::

* Hofstadter, _Goedel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid_

GEB:egb is culture, mit einem
grossen K.  Don't read it if
you're the sort accustomed to
reaching for a Browning.

It has bits of music, it has
some entertainment, but it's
a bit low on food.  (french
fries, hamburgers, and The
Little Lisper make cameos)

My copy could use rebinding;
any recommendations?

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