Wherever you go, there you are. From the Beijing Metro:
Click on the photo to see a much bigger version. Discussion on Reddit of the Heisenbergian aspects here. You'll be relieved to know that my wife's Dreaming in Chinese has a chapter on the philosophy behind subway maps like this. And please consider a related classic of the translation genre.
To follow previous discussion on the mystery of street signs in Beijing, I've received a link to a helpful encyclopedic guide to the iconography -- hell, the semiotics! -- of all "thou shalt not" prohibition signs on Chinese streets. But right now the link, to a site in China, appears to be down. Will provide it later. Thanks to Mike Jarmy and Tim Smith.
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James Fallows is a staff writer at The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which was a national best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.