I, Gerardus Mercator, Am Done Apologizing For My Terrible Map

It has come to my attention that some of the woke crowd are mad about my Mercator projection map again. I understand that picky map nerds are upset about the “incorrect” representation of some land masses being larger than they are (i.e. continental Europe and Greenland) and others being smaller than they are (i.e. India and mainland Africa). And to that I say: build a god-damn better map then.

I may be misremembering, but I believe it has been 452 years since I used bird feather quills and the movement of the Moon (with my bare eyes) to create the world-standard map. Okay, my map may not be 100% correct, but I didn’t have a super computer in my pocket. You can find a map of the entire galaxy by googling two words. In 1569, we were still reeling from finding out that the Earth revolved around the Sun. And if I’m being honest, I still have my doubts about the whole heliocentric thing, but I digress.

I’ve heard the chatter about my map being more skewed towards European and white-dominated spaces and uh, duh. I was a Flemish geographer in the 16th Century, honey. We were more worried about the wrath of the Pope during the Protestant Reformation schism and not catching polio.

The person who I was in the 1500s isn’t me anymore. I’ve read White Fragility now and I am working on being an antiracist. So it’s crazy for you to judge me on race relations from the year fifteen-fucking-sixty-nine.

I would also like to address the commotions regarding Antarctica. Okay, I fucked up Antarctica. I made it crazy big and I can admit that. But to my credit I had never been to Antarctica. And be honest right now, have you ever been to Antarctica? It’s a bunch of ice and snow. Maybe it is half the Earth! And if it isn’t, go fly on a damn helicopter, make some penguin friends, and map it out young cartographer.

I will no longer live with the shame that has been heaped upon me because I know I did a great thing. I had to make a 3D ball into a 2D flat map that sailors could use and get to their destination. And you know what? No one has accidentally gone to the Dominican Republic when they are trying to sail to India while using my map. You’re welcome.

So if you want a better map, simply make one yourself. Let’s see if that survives almost 500 years of being the standard.

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