Walker Response

The main issue addressed in the piece was the impact of Walker’s transcendent  “Statistical Analysis of the United States.” To summarize, the work was influential in that it had both political and regional views displayed on the map, making it the first of its kind. From the map, one could see the stark differences between the east and west, ranging from temperature to resources. However, I believe that the political aspect of the piece is what truly made it both memorable and innovative.
I remember once in I think US history being given maps and asked to decide the bias of each. To my primitive 11th grade self, this seemed like an odd request; how could an objective piece of data like a map possibly have a bias? The above piece, clearly seen by its political connotations, clearly proves that data can definitely push an agenda. By not mentioned the Native Americans on the map, the whole western frontier looked so open and free to move into. The west was seen as a land free for the taking and teeming with resources, further perpetuating the idea of manifest destiny. There is also a sense of authority data innately has; people assume that data was produced from reputable resources and methods and therefore should be trusted. Therefore, this piece gave Americans a scientific method for Manifest Destiny; the land was ripe for the picking.
The work reminds of the Linnaeus piece as they both emphasize the economic benefits of organization. What separates these works from the one about the Control Crisis is these works were subtlety about the economy. Linnaeus’ taxonomy is largely regarded as a scientific work, which it is, but his ultimate goal was to use science to bring new species and therefore wealth to Sweden. Likewise, this work was overtly a scientific piece, but it had the result of bringing settlers west. These passages in tandem show the manipulative tendencies that seemingly objective data can have.


2 thoughts on “Walker Response

  1. I would opt for a clarification of the analogy between Linnaeus’ taxonomy and deduction insinuated within the maps.

    Per my conjecture, Linnaeus’ taxonomy retained no predefined motive of action -maps here did. Aim of Linnaeus was to transcend the evanescent taxonomies, based on pragmatic applications, and formulate an overarching taxonomy that would be eternally applicable and utilitarian for every application to be devised. The action of formulating such absolute taxonomy itself was the potency sought by Linnaeus; to this potency, purveyed utility for Sweden would merely be corollary.

    In contrast with Linnaeus’ undefined objective besides inherent drive for potency in devising, the maps had a defined objective.

    I presume the analogy was presumed to be in the fact of data representations being utilized for empowering a constitution (country, in both instances). For this analogy, I assert -as I have previously elaborated- that Linnaeus’ true aim was formulation of taxonomy; utility for country was conclusive. In this regard, all data ordering can be reduced into a form that is solely salutary for the community that has the easiest access to that ordering. This is imperative as ordering itself is instinctive for cerebral potency (I have explained the term on a response to Foucault) which serves initially to gain pragmatic power.

    For this, can you elaborate on the analogy?

    1. The end of the Linnaeus reading seemed to emphasize that a major reason for the taxonomies that he developed was for economic benefit. I do not remember the exact example anymore, but I believe he used the taxonomies to find an alternative plant that could grow silk in Sweden to promote the local economy and not rely on the Asian centers on trade. I do not contend his scientific intentions behind his undertakings, though I thought it was interesting to note that these scientific achievements had very overt economic undertones. Walker wanted to promote migration west and stimulate the economy, and Linnaeus wanted to promote silk cultivation and boost the Swedish economy.

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