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Frequently asked questions for the first midterm

Q: What do we have to know about map projections, and in what ways can a flat map projection of the globe be distorted?

A:Flat map projections can distort size, shape, distance, direction. Please see the link to map projections. Study the differences between a Peters and Mercator projection. You should also focus on what is at the center and what is on the margin of a projection and what is its purpose.

Q: Define 'topology' and explain how it is related to relative distance and space.
examples:
Topological space: The connections between or connectivity of particular points in space.

examples:
Which is cheaper and takes less time to fly:
Fresno to Buffalo, or San Francisco to New York
San Francisco to New York is a greater distance, but because of the airline system, it is much more direct, and often cheaper to fly between the major cities.
When you use an online mapping program (like maps.yahoo.com) to find directions from your house to the store, what are all the things the computer has to know about the roads and intersections of the route? One way streets, no turns, overpasses, etc.

Q: According to the textbook, what accounts for the academic split between the social and natural sciences?
A: The Western tradition of separating humans from nature.

Q: How did changes in manufacturing allow corporations to become more footloose, flexible, and global in scope?

A: The fragmentation of the production process into many small operations has freed companies from the factors that tied them down to the location of large centralized factories of the early 20th century. Early automobile factories required lots of large scale investment in equipment and training in a few permanent places. Now many operations can be done in low-tech shops with workers performing repetitive tasks that require little training. Flexible industry can now shift its operations more quickly and easily to new locations.

Q: From lecture, you said that the first portion was going to be definitions with a word bank on the bottom, right?
A: MATCHING DEFINITIONS TO 5 TERMS DEFINED IN THE MARGINS OF THE TEXTBOOK AND LISTED AT THE END OF EACH CHAPTER. YOU WILL ALSO BE GIVEN A CHOICE OF SHORT ANSWER AND ESSAY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER (ONE EACH).

Q: Which terms do we need to know out of chapter 5?
A: Only those in the margins of pages out of the assigned readings.

Q: What is the "rule of 72" for calculating doubling time from the rate of natural increase?
A: Divide 72 by the rate of natural increase to get the number of years it will take for a given population to double. For example, if you want to know how long it will take to double a given population at a four percent rate of natural increase, divide 4 into 72 and get 18 years.

Q: "Why is the study of the structure of a population so important to predicting its future growth of decline?"
A: UNDERSTANDING THE BALANCE OF MEN AND WOMEN, AS WELL AS THE OVERALL AGE OF A GIVEN POPULATION ENABLES ONE TO PREDICT LIKELY TRENDS IN THE FUTURE. NATURAL INCREASE IS DETERMINED BY BALANCING BIRTHS AND DEATHS IN A POPULATION. A VERY YOUNG POPULATION IS LIKELY TO HAVE A LOT MORE BIRTHS, AND A LOT FEWER DEATHS DUE TO OLD AGE IN THE NEAR FUTURE. COMPARE THAT WITH AN AGING POPULATION WHERE MANY PEOPLE ARE PAST THEIR PROCREATIVE YEARS AND MANY MORE ARE DYING OF OLD AGE. THIS QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF POPULATION DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THE OTHER REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO HAVE KIDS OR NOT.

Q: I was wondering if the answers to the questions could all be found in the text because I couldn't find some and so I thought that maybe some were from your lectures. I couldn't find the answer to the question regarding Columbus in ch.1, but from your lecture, I know why he thought he sailed to Asia. However, I don't know how his strong belief and culture have affected the early European maps of the Americas.
A: COLUMBUS' STRONG BELIEFS AND CULTURE GAVE HIM THE MOTIVATION AND FIXED IDEAS TO SEE WHAT HE WANTED TO SEE. ". . . it was his rigid preconceptions, evidently unaffected by the facts themselves. . ." Maps and cognition
HIS MOTIVATIONS WERE RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXTREMELY VALUABLE NEW TRADE ROUTE TO ASIA, AND HIS PERSONAL PRESTIGE AND PLACE IN HISTORY AS THE OFFICIAL "ADMIRAL OF THE INDIES." HIS CULTURAL BACKGROUND INCLUDED STRONG CHRISTIAN BELIEFS AND A MENTAL MAP OF A TRI-CONTINENTAL WORLD ONLY TWO THIRDS THE ACTUAL SIZE OF THE PLANET. THE FACT THAT HE WAS ON THE WRONG CONTINENT NEVER OCCURRED TO HIM. TO THE DAY THAT HE DIED HE THOUGHT HE HAD SAILED TO ASIA. EARLY EUROPEAN MAPS OF THE AMERICAS WERE A CONFUSION OF ACTUAL AMERICAN PLACE NAMES AND ASIAN PLACE NAMES. CARTOGRAPHERS OF THE TIME SAW WHAT THEY WANTED (OR WERE TRAINED) TO SEE AND MAPPED IT ACCORDINGLY.
CAN YOU THINK OF A MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT?

Q: Explain globalization in environmental terms using specific examples
A: STUDY YOUR NOTES ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING, OZONE DEPLETION, AND MY DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE BOLIVIAN ECONOMY EFFECTED THE PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT OF THE CHAPARE IN BOLIVIA.

Q: What effect does globalization have on the cultures at the core and periphery of the world system?
A: REVIEW THE CONCEPTS OF FAST WORLD COMPARED WITH THE SLOW WORLD OF MINISYSTEMS. WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE MINISYSTEMS OF THE BOLIVIAN RAINFOREST WERE SUDDENLY CONNECTED TO THE WORLD SYSTEM THROUGH THE DRUG TRADE? HOW DID THE SOCIAL RELATIONS CHANGE?

Q: What is I=PAT?
A: I=PAT IS AN EQUATION THAT LOOKS AT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT (I) AS A FACTOR OF POPULATION (P), AFFLUENCE (A), AND TECHNOLOGY (T). THIS MEANS THAT "OVERPOPULATION" IS TOO SIMPLISTIC AN EXPLANATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION (Ch. 4).

Q: Explain how limitations in technology can lead to distance decay effects in mapping? What else accounts for distance decay effects?
A: YOU CAN ONLY MAP WHAT YOU CAN SEE WELL ENOUGH TO GATHER DATA ABOUT. SAILING SHIPS OF EUROPEAN EXPLORERS WERE LIMITED TO THE COASTS, SO EARLY MAPS OF THE AMERICAS ONLY SHOWED THE COASTS ACCURATELY. BEFORE THE INVENTION OF MICROSCOPES AND TELESCOPES, MAPS WERE LIMITED TO WHAT COULD BE SEEN WITH THE NAKED EYE. THIS LIMITED EARLY MAPS AS WELL AS EXPLANATIONS OF HOW THE WORLD WORKED. THE THEORY THAT GERMS CAUSE DISEASE DID NOT EMERGE UNTIL GERMS COULD BE SEEN WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY.

Q: Decisions about procreation are made within a particular geographic and cultural context. Explain.
A: THERE ARE BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF A YOUNG COUPLE LIVING IN A HIGH-RISE APARTMENT BUILDING OF A BIG CITY IN A MORE DEVELOPED COUNTRY COMPARED WITH A COUPLE LIVING IN A MODEST HOME IN A RURAL DEVELOPING COUNTRY. EACH WILL HAVE VERY DIFFERENT REASONS FOR WANTING, OR NOT WANTING TO HAVE A CHILDREN -- SUCH AS THE AVAILABILITY OF SOCIAL SECURITY OR THE COST OF RENT AND FOOD. AS DISCUSSED IN CLASS, DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS OR CULTURAL BELIEFS WILL ALSO HAVE A BIG INFLUENCE ON DECISIONS ABOUT PROCREATION. Population distribution, debates, policies, and theories