By What Metric Do We Measure Our Humanity?

Traversing Iceland’s Unfamiliar Landscape, By Inch, Foot, and Stride

Driving through Iceland, the foreboding moonscape of the lava fields gives way to the mysteries of mist-shrouded mountain peaks. It is a place where the tumbling beauty of waterfalls spills into volcanic ash beds that seem devoid of life. For someone who comes from the forested, lake-filled, and (largely) flat land of Minnesota, Iceland’s landscape is simultaneously enchanting and alienating. I feel this tension in my body, and the push-and-pull of the place brings me to a minor epiphany about systems that presume progress is achieved through efficiency.

The metric system, …