Long ago an inscription at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi advised supplicants to know thyself. Chinese sage Sun Tzu outdid the Greek oracle, instructing disciples to know the enemy and know yourself. Heed this counsel and in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.
Understanding how people interpret the geophysical world around them comprises part of this quest for knowing. The physical setting is fixed in many respects. Anyone with an atlas or internet connection can discover countless objective facts about topography, geographic distances, demographics, and on and on. And yet, subjective perceptions of objective reality—history, national purpose, and limits on human cognition—retain their power to shape human enterprises.
 Alan K. Henrikson, “The Geographical ‘Mental Maps’ of American Foreign Policy Makers,” International Political Science Review 1, no. 4 (1980): 498.
 Henrikson, “Geographical ‘Mental Maps,’” 498.
 Nicholas J. Spykman, The Geography of the Peace, ed. Helen R. Nicholl (New York: Harcourt, 1944), 6–7.
 Spykman, Geography of the Peace, 23.
 Spykman likewise testifies to the menace of encirclement from the Old World. Spykman, Geography of the Peace, 34.
 Francisco Pablo García-Huidobro Correa et al., Horizonte en el Pacífico: Visión Oceánica de la Armada de Chile (Santiago: Chilean Navy, April 2019), 134–35.
 García-Huidobro et al., Horizonte en el Pacífico, 135.