The Map and the Territory

17

A country is cooked with three ingredients: population, power and territory. Facebook, which has already announced the launch of its own currency, has the first two. It is the third leg of the shed that makes his fictitious nation stagger. I want to think that there are still insurmountable frontiers for information technology, and that it has no chance against the stubbornness of geography. However, Zuckerberg has understood that money, like maps, is a convention. There are few things that escape the unifying dominion of conventions: some loves, true friends – who are never on the wall – and pleasure, which only exists if it is genuine. I can think of some more, such as mountains, skyscrapers, birds, pollution, terraced houses, oxygen, alleyways or dormant volcanoes. In short, everything that separates Facebook from a tangible existence: the elements of the landscape.

Houellebecq, writing 'The map and the territory', poses a virtual region that crosses its labyrinthine pages. The French understood, even being the most 'posmo', that the binary system could never replace the rivers, the roads or the infinite cities that inspire poems and settle culture. Facebook, however, claims to be a town without territory. Well, that utopia has several names on the other side of the screen: Palestine, Western Sahara, Syria. Even refugees, without land and without humanitarian protection, carry a mobile phone in their pockets. The lack of territory marks them, but in the deception of the global village they are indistinguishable from free citizens. If here is the answer to the old enlightened dream of a cosmopolitan and egalitarian republic, turn off and let's go. Perhaps, by the book check, Facebook ends up appearing on the maps; Maybe everything is a fiction except death.

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