My Space

There’s a general idea surrounding the study of Geography: the geographer should be able to know places and understand the human and physical aspects of a space and how these attributes interact within and outside that space. As a geography student, I feel profoundly useless. I have come to understand the Global Positioning System and I have also been able to take into consideration, my surroundings. However, when it comes to finding a place in that same ‘surrounding’, using Google Maps, I am sent a mile or two away from its actual location. What validity did I give to this app on my phone to allow this deception? The fact is, it is a technological device and like other perceptions surrounding this issue, the various steps taken to design this software should have been able to provide accurate results. And that’s what we do as humans, because its inanimate, we associate some level of perfection to technology as much as we do nature. Our reliance, our trust, is therefore placed in the device rather than our senses. Does the scientific method still count in this era? A time in which people become so attached to the virtual realm that we fail to fully make use of our senses. Well there goes the empiricist…and there goes our senses but, do I exist?  Where stands my intellect? IN CYBERSPACE.

HOWEVER did I experience this unfortunate event because I’m in the Caribbean, a developing region, or was this just a normal random error in the use of the GPS system on the cell phone? However, when we take a look at Google Earth locations seem to be more precise than those of an actual GPS device, as well as the GPS software on a cell phone. Also, the representation of the surfaces of developed countries, such as London and the U.S.A are more detailed than those of the Caribbean and other developing countries. This shows that, despite the wide range of people that are able to access the Internet and utilize its resources in the Caribbean, we still have a far way to go in the advancement of technology and representing our space in the virtual realm. There has always been a contestation in owning a space as it relates to Caribbean culture. How can Caribbean people identify themselves as one in a space that integrates global cultures? There is no boundary, there is no law to separate populations on this new Earth so how does the Caribbean folk project themselves in this dimension as a distinct entity when we face this same issue in the physical/non-virtual world? This wrangle of space and identity in the context of the Caribbean has always been and will seemingly continue to be our reality. Should something be done about it? What can be done about it?


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