From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way
A wise and insightful exploration of human navigation, what it means to be lost, and how we find our way.
How is it that we can walk unfamiliar streets while maintaining a sense of direction? Come up with shortcuts on the fly, in places we've never traveled? The answer is the complex mental map in our brains. This feature of our cognition is easily taken for granted, but it's also critical to our species' evolutionary success. In From Here to There Michael Bond tells stories of the lost and found--Polynesian sailors, orienteering champions, early aviators--and surveys the science of human navigation.
Navigation skills are deeply embedded in our biology. The ability to find our way over large distances in prehistoric times gave Homo sapiens an advantage, allowing us to explore the farthest regions of the planet. Wayfinding also shaped vital cognitive functions outside the realm of navigation, including abstract thinking, imagination, and memory. Bond brings a reporter's curiosity and nose for narrative to the latest research from psychologists, neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, and anthropologists. He also turns to the people who design and expertly maneuver the world we navigate: search-and-rescue volunteers, cartographers, ordnance mappers, urban planners, and more. The result is a global expedition that furthers our understanding of human orienting in the natural and built environments.
A beguiling mix of storytelling and science, From Here to There covers the full spectrum of human navigation and spatial understanding. In an age of GPS and Google Maps, Bond urges us to exercise our evolved navigation skills and reap the surprising cognitive rewards.
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About the Author
Michael Bond began chronicling Paddington's adventures in his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, published in 1958. Fortunately, bears don't need much encouragement, and Paddington has since filled the pages of twelve further novels, a variety of picture books, and many other projects written for the young at heart.
A fascinating excursion into the very nature of exploration. Absorbing stuff, for armchair travelers and rough 'n' tough adventurers alike.--Benedict Allen, explorer and presenter in Expedition Africa, Unbreakable, and Travellers' Century
In the modern world of road signs and GPS, it is easy to ignore our natural navigational instincts. I hope this book will inspire people to explore and experiment with those abilities, for if they do, they will be in for a wonderful surprise.--Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race as the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world
A fascinating and engaging look at how we navigate, from the first humans to modern-day hikers zombified by overuse of GPS. Bond has collected in one place many of the important studies on wayfinding, with riveting anecdotes of real situations where life or death hangs in the balance.--John Huth, author of The Lost Art of Finding Our Way
Fascinating...He explains why people don't get lost more often, how brains makes 'cognitive maps, ' and how an 'understanding of the world around us affects our psychology and behavior.'...Adventure-loving readers will be richly rewarded.--Publishers Weekly (01/16/2020)