Wednesday, April 25, 2007

as i read mason-dixon

It seems to me that the craft of surveying has lost power as it gained resolution over the last 400 years. When the above-mentioned latitude was plotted, it was marked every five miles with "crownstones" marked on one side with Charles Calvert's coat-of-arms, and the other with William Penn's. This western ray began its path at the (contemporaneous) border between Delaware and the two warring states, which was declared, quite simply, as a "twelve mile circle."

Compare this with disputing inches of fenceline between suburban homeowners, and it may seem that the heroism in this profession has leaked away, or at least has been transferred into the lasers that measure the (ever-changing) distance between the Earth and the Moon.

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