Our Ownership of Space and Spaces

In Chapter 5 of Interdisciplinarity, Moran discusses how space is not a “neutral category but something that is culturally produced” (149).  Here, Moran seems to assert that space and spaces are not readily existing unless we make them exist through culture.  Given, what we know presently as countries are indeed the spaces in which certain, specific cultures function.  But if territories and spaces are divided due to cultural differences, then why keep these divisions at all if culture is ever-changing?  Permanence of a territory can never be promised.  This must be the reason that country borders are so plastic; they reflect the cultures held “within” them.  Additionally, what does space – or what other species understand as what us humans call space – mean to other species?  There is no telling whether culture defines their spaces, or if they define spaces at all.  Unfortunately, us humans have assumed ownership of our surroundings regardless of the viewpoints of other species.

To further discuss the supposed dependence of space on culture, we can observe the historical significance of the moon.  A part of me – most of me, rather – feels that it was wholeheartedly wrong that we planted a flag on the moon, and even more so that America planted the flag of its country.  I feel that these are fiercely radical statements concerning our ownership of the spaces we have discovered.  The moon is a celestial object, a rock, that circles our planet rather humbly, and presently holds no territorial advantages.  Yet, we took importance in claiming it as our own, as humans and as a single country.  Sensibly, this serves us almost no function other than to boost our pride.  What gives us the right to own the moon over, say, a mouse or a tulip?  Considering the selfishness that we have demonstrated upon our ownership of other spaces, the latter two beings have just as much, if not more, of a right to ownership of other spaces.

 

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