Absolutely amazing. I know one or two people on my friends list who particularly like “the map is not the territory” but I’d never known about this:
David Ferrier was a pioneering 19th century Scottish neurosurgeon who mapped out animal brains. Well, he wanted to map out the human brain but he had no subjects.
So what he did was brilliant: He mapped out the monkey brain but drew it on a human brain, while KNOWING it’s certainly all wrong.
It was brilliant because until then there was NO map of the human brain. Now, neurosurgeons had something to “tack” their information onto. They just had to move David Ferrier’s marks around to fit their reality and yet his map gave all neurosurgeons and researchers a COMMON BASE to work from.
So the map need not match up AT ALL to the territory as long as there is a map. The map gives you a common place to work from, a reference, a tacking device.
I read about it in: This is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept and what I wrote was my words.