[TUHS] OT: American Culture

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Wed Jan 3 12:42:53 AEST 2018


> A lingering gripe that explains my latent anti-Americanism goes back to
> when I had to support Uniplus 2.2/2.4 (sorta SysIII-ish) on the WICAT boxes
> in here in Australia.  At installation time, we had to express the time
> offset as hours *west* of GMT; this left me with a lingering belief that
> Americans didn't want to be perceived as being backwards (yeah. it saved an
> entire keystroke out of the dozens that were otherwise required).

But east postive is an artifact of north up.  I remember Australian
souvenir shops selling maps on "MacQuarrie's corrective projection",
in which south is up.  In fact this orientation was not uncommon in
Europe between medieval maps that really were oriented, with east up,
and later convention that put north up and shoved Australia down under.

Surely an Aussie would prefer south up and west positive!

Doug


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