Agent: Sandra Dijkstra
Why are we so often disoriented when we come up from the subway?
Do we really walk in circles when we lose our bearings in the wilderness?
How -- and why -- do we get lost at all?
In this surprising, stimulating book, Erik Jonsson, a Swedish-born engineer who has spent a lifetime exploring navigation over every terrain, from the crowded cities of Europe to the emptiness of the desert, gives readers extraordinary new insights into the human way-finding system.
Written for the nonscientist, Inner Navigation explains the astonishing array of physical and psychological cues the brain uses to situate us in space and build its "cognitive maps" -- the subconscious maps it employs to organize landmarks. Humans, Jonsson explains, also possess an intuitive direction frame -- an internal compass -- that keeps these maps oriented (when it functions properly) and a dead-reckoning system that constantly updates our location on the map as we move through the world. Even the most cynical city-dweller will be amazed to learn how much of this innate sense we use every day as we travel across town or around the world.
Both a scientific and a human story, Inner Navigation contains a rich assortment of real-life insights and examples of the navigational challenges we all face, no matter where or how we live. It's a book that is as provocative to ponder as it is delightful to lose yourself in. Don't worry: Erik Jonsson will help you find your bearings.