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Big Bad Voodoo

Map of Lands Actually Discovered by Europeans

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http://io9.com/a-map-of-the-lands-actually-discovered-by-european-expl-1159996405

When studying Western history, we tend to say that this European explorer discovered this continent or that island, when those lands were already long inhabited. Cartographer Bill Rankin maps out the lands that were uninhabited by time of Europe's Age of Exploration.

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They used to call them discovered lands cause the white men had never set foot there.

Even in history books now the 15th century is still called the age of exploration and discovery, because people in that time really believed most lands were not inhabited....and they pretty much didn't know where they were going.

And although people were already there, the term discovery can still be applied to those explorers 500 years ago, cause they did 'uncover' what was already there.

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but the point is that there were people living there. those people knew that the land they lived on existed, so why should it only be considered "discovered" when europeans first saw it?

i mean, there were expeditions launched throughout the area of indonesia and china by islamic explorers during the same periods, and earlier, yet those places are not considered to have been discovered by them, (and that's fair, i think). we don't say that the chinese discovered the indian ocean, and the arabian peninsula when they first sent expedtions there. why? because those areas were already settled!

if nothing else, the map does a good job of showing just how little of the world wasn't settled on by one adventurous group or another. and that's neat.

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What you say i

but the point is that there were people living there. those people knew that the land they lived on existed, so why should it only be considered "discovered" when europeans first saw it?

i mean, there were expeditions launched throughout the area of indonesia and china by islamic explorers during the same periods, and earlier, yet those places are not considered to have been discovered by them, (and that's fair, i think). we don't say that the chinese discovered the indian ocean, and the arabian peninsula when they first sent expedtions there. why? because those areas were already settled!

True, Patagonian but don't forget it was already known that those lands you mentioned existed. I think the difference with the Americas is that nobody knew they were there....hence they called it a discovery, and the name stuck. Also, like I said, they 'discovered' lands they didn't know existed, whether they were inhabited or not.

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but that's kind of the point i was trying to make, that discovery is a matter of perspective! the chinese explorers knew that there was land where they were going, but its not certain that they knew about africa. so, it was a new discovery to them, but not to the people living there. from their perspective, the discovered those lands.

the whole common discovery narrative is very euro-centric, and by that i mean it places the viewpoint on europe, and what they knew and did not know of the world. if you were to place your viewpoint on, say, india, what the world looked like, and what you would consider discovered and what was unknown would look very different.

and you're making the same mistake that the map is trying to clarify when you say "nobody knew they were there". the people who lived there knew that they were there. why is their perspective less legitimate than that of others?

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You can discover for yourself something that has already been discovered by others. That doesn't make it any less of a 'discovery'.

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that's kind of in line with what i'm trying to say. saying that someone like columbus "discovered" the carribean for himself, and for most of europe? reasonable. saying that he discovered it with the implication that before he did so it was completely unknown is not. because that says, intentionally or not, that the opinions of the people who lived their are irrelevant. and it's part of a long trend in history of erasing the experiences of native people.

acknowledging that they weren't the only ones to get there does nothing to diminish the accomplishments of explorers who took great risks to find people and places that they had never heard of.

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that's kind of in line with what i'm trying to say. saying that someone like columbus "discovered" the carribean for himself, and for most of europe? reasonable. saying that he discovered it with the implication that before he did so it was completely unknown is not. because that says, intentionally or not, that the opinions of the people who lived their are irrelevant. and it's part of a long trend in history of erasing the experiences of native people.

acknowledging that they weren't the only ones to get there does nothing to diminish the accomplishments of explorers who took great risks to find people and places that they had never heard of.

Patagonian, I absolutely understand what you are saying, but don't forget that the mentality of people 500 years ago was only euro-centred and they believed all the civilizations they met were all savages. They believed only white people were the chosen ones by their God.

Nowadays it's totally different.

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You can discover for yourself something that has already been discovered by others. That doesn't make it any less of a 'discovery'.

Hey, your avatar a modern representation of Diogenes in search of the "human"?

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Hey, your avatar a modern representation of Diogenes in search of the "human"?

I have no idea, QM... sorry. I do know that it's a Goldscheider terracota antique lamp called The Night Watchman @ $2,950, but that is all I know :(

Do you like it?

Edited by Eldorado

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I have no idea, QM... sorry. I do know that it's a Goldscheider terracota antique lamp called The Night Watchman @ $2,950, but that is all I know :(

Do you like it?

Yes, reminds me of the story of Diogenes who one day ran through Corinth in plain daylight with a lit lantern. When asked by the surprised citizens what he was doing he answered that he was in search of a human in all that darkness.

A friend of mine who believes in past lives claims to this day that I am the reincarnation of this Diogenes. (Pure crap of course).

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Well they certainly deserve credit for their Island finding abilities.

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History is the province of the victors (including the technologically superior in the absence of warfare). In this case, it was the Europeans. It doesn't matter if people were already living there, or if they already knew about uninhabited islands, etc. The people weren't European, and were therefore of little consequence.

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man i just rolled my eyes so hard that they achieved low earth orbit

i...

i can see everything

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A friend of mine who believes in past lives claims to this day that I am the reincarnation of this Diogenes. (Pure crap of course).

It may be your age. I've suffered from 'dodgy knees' for years!

s11914.gif

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No good, they missed Rockall. :innocent:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockall

Edited by PersonFromPorlock

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You can discover for yourself something that has already been discovered by others. That doesn't make it any less of a 'discovery'.

.

every time you peel a banana El, you're seeing something that no-one's ever seen before, you're discovering something totally new, something unknown.....

at that point I usually congratulate myself with a celebratory beer (any excuse, right...?), but I eat a lot of bananas, and liver failure is such a depressing look.....

:-)

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well, if nothing else, it's good to have a sense of wonder about things.

*discovers a quarter, brushes off a native ant, plants a tiny, tiny flag on it*

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