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If travel is fast, communication is faster. The instantaneous delivery of messages that would previously have taken days or weeks has done curious things to our sense of distance, so that space and time, those two reliable measures of remoteness, seem at times entirely eroded.
What does distance mean when such previously formidable obstacles can be so easily overlooked? Surely distance has not disappeared entirely. Despite the illusion of universal proximity, there are yet ways of being remote and distant in our day.
Distance, it seems, is not so much about a spatial measure as it is about the endurance of those obstacles: space and time. In some cases they endure where they have been carefully cultivated as barriers from a world perceived as fast-paced; in other cases they endure where resources are scarce and the means cannot be found to overcome them.
So, even now, not every place is equally connected and distance is, undeniably, relative and flexible. In this sense, there is little difference between our conception of distance and that of people in the colonial Atlantic world.
The Oxford Handbook of the Incas. Nor do most fans know the tremendous toll the climb to the top has taken on Batista's personal life. Private Women, Public Lives. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Trevor Stack. Rating details.
Distance was then, as it is now, less a question of measurement and more a question of perspective.