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Denny,
You are looking at geography in too limited a fashion, I believe that you are equating it with cartography, or the type of geography that we learn in high school, Indianapolis.is.the.capitol.of.Indiana...Actually, geography would give you as good a chance at answering your question as any discipline since geography looks at the relationship of man and environment.  This often has a cartographic component and geographers are great ones for maps, but these maps can get pretty sophisticated.  There are maps that show population density, ethnic concentrations and mixtures, energy usage, crop types, religious affiliations, political divisions, annual income per capita, traffic density, and a dozen other things that can be presented spatially, and that can be composed to show these factors over different times.

If you overlay a general map of Eurasia with the specific types of maps above you would get broad pattern of agreement in-though not complete or perfect alignment by any means with-the general notion of Europe.  That would just be a starting point for the more significant question, which I think that you are asking, which is, who are you people who live in this large area?  Is there a set of commonalities between you that differentiate you in important ways from those of us who do not live there?  If there is a set of commonalities is it a result of facts on the ground, or is it an outlook based on ideas?

From across the Atlantic, it looks more and more that an European identity is coming into being, again.  From afar it appears that the history, the political organizations, and the economics are being expressed with a sufficient cohesion to at least superficially express a specific and identifiable grouping of people.  In the dark hour we are going through here, we hope both that people can see all the things that we have in common that are not expressed on these maps, and that Europe, whatever it is, stands for enlightenment.  

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:13:27 PM EST
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Whatever "enlightenment" is ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:43:26 PM EST
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And wherever we can find it!

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 04:59:13 PM EST
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Well, I figured out that my point of view of what is actually Europe does not match most of those of other bloggers. And...yes, I confess it is kind of limited... But I was trying to do that associations game and the first thing that came into my mind about Europe was a map. And since the basic question posed was "What is Europe for you" I just put that down. But actually, you are quite right that this is what we learn in high-school (which by the way was two years ago). Thank you for that comment! I really appreciate it!
by Denny on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:10:05 PM EST
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Denny,
It is the same thing that I learned in High School about 35 years ago (and how weird is that to think that).  In college I started out with a dual major of Econ and History and took a geography survey course and ended up switching majors.  I would highly recommend anyone that is in college with an interest in liberal arts to take cultural geography, and at least one regional geography class.

You will really learn to love all the info that can be mapped, and how it all integrates with econ, history, politics, etc.

Good luck on the journey.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:08:09 PM EST
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