According to Dale Dougherty from the O’Reilly Radar those were the words of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, a non-profit association dedicated to research and develop a $100 laptop. He was responding to the question “Do you have to be American to be good?” asked by moderator Martin Varsavsky at the DLD conference:
First of all, I was in Boston 10 days last year, I carry an EU passport, I did half my education in Europe and my family is 100% European. Yes, I did study at MIT and spent a good portion of my life there. But I don’t think of myself as a citizen of any country at all. I have no nation. I think nationalism is a disease and it’s a disease that has really hurt the world.
You can watch the video of the panel How to be good? and forward to marker 26′50″, read the brief account from Dale Dougherty or get the first person account from Martin himself. In any case, I was happy enough to pick the quote above for this post.
With the sudden celebrity status that comes with being nominated for the bloggies, I’ve been playing defense when it [...]
Via ALT1040 I found the 2006 ranking for global brands, according to branchannel.com. If I was to summarize the overall positioning, I would say that everyone loves a good western: just take a look at how many of the most influential brands are located on the West Coast of the U.S.A.: Google, Apple, YouTube, Starbucks, Yahoo!, Microsoft. It almost gives a new meaning to the West Coast Cool, used frequently to denote a certain type of Jazz.
Of course, all these brands have global presence and it would be absurd to suggest that the success of their marketing efforts is localized in a single office. However, we must assume that the big ideas that power these brands are inspired by the everyday events that take place in or around the cities where their headquarters are located. There must be something in the air that serves as a catalyst. Maybe it is the fact that these cities have plenty of influence from outsiders thanks to their massive immigrant populations that allow for people living there to grok the world around them, making possible to create services and products with universal appeal.
Want to [...]
If you were shocked (and you should) by saving the ethnosphere, and felt kind of powerless against the cultural devastation of which Wade Davis was talking, you’ll find hope in the TEDTalk from Phil Borges. The power of his portraits are mostly a way to promote his organization Bridges of Understanding, dedicated to teach digital storytelling to teenagers worldwide so they are capable of preserving their cultures.
The project has already rendered a valuable collection of short movies (slide shows, mostly) that depict all aspects of local cultures such as their daily life, schools, music, sports, environment and religion; all from the candid eye of teenagers empowered through the power of technology to open up to the world and stand up for their people. A truly remarkable mission.
I would love to organize a workshop for those teenagers that have just migrated to this big city and have a critical eye for the foreign culture that now they must call home. The window of opportunity to save those precious thoughts is very small and closes as fast as their attitude changes with the influence of the metropolis. But first I should get myself into one of the [...]
According to my analytics software, and by virtue of being a finalist for the best new weblog bloggie, it seems there is a very high probability that you are new to this blog. As such, I would like to give you my elevator pitch so you can decide if you should subscribe or just vote for this blog and never come back.
As a result of globalization, I believe there are mostly two kinds of people: those who are joining what I call the idle class, content to adopt a safe rhythm that involves little risk and promises the rewards of mass consumption; and those who will take any risks necessary in order to join the first group. All of them moving at such a fast pace that they can’t realize how valuable their cultural context is and how meaningful their lives could be if they were not hypnotized by global corporations.
I try to lead this debate from my own experiences as an immigrant, and without falling into the usual anti-globalization traps. But this is not a political blog: In the process of researching Global Culture I’ve come across a very diverse group of topics, [...]
Airports reveal a lot about the culture of a country and their people. If you have traveled overseas, specially to the developing world, you’ll agree that leaving the airport’s customs area to join the crowds at the arrivals lounge can be a shocking experience: There are just too many people waiting for their loved ones. Airports in North America have a very different rhythm, business oriented and very transactional. I believe the reason behind this dramatic difference is the intent of those who travel in & out of these airports.
In most rich countries, travelers are mainly of two kinds: business people & tourists. In both cases they travel abroad with a very well planned itinerary and the intention to come back. Theirs is a round-trip, typically very short, that promises lots of rewards. The arrival at the lounge is nothing else but the last leg in the trip and as such it has been planned. There is no need for ceremony. The highlight of the trip IS the trip.
In the developing world, aside from the types described above there are those who fear the airport as the gateway to [...]
As a testament to what a great start this blog had in 2006, Global Culture has been nominated for “best new weblog” in the Seventh Annual Weblog Awards: The 2007 bloggies
Thanks to all readers that nominated this blog and made it a finalist among so many great blogs out there. Just having the privilege of sharing the badge of finalist with heavyweights such as Boing Boing, Lifehacker and Slashdot is a reward in its own.
Voting will run until February 2nd, so hurry up and submit you ballot.
Planeta.com is organizing the 2007 Tourism & Migration E-Conference, to take place in the first half of the year:
Tourism enterprises are increasingly considered as as providing an alternative to migration and a vehicle to alleviate poverty in developing economies by creating jobs. Likewise, tourists are staying longer in places — blurring the distinction between tourism and migration.
What is the difference between a migrant and a tourist? Traditional definitions says a tourist is someone who spends less than a year in a place. Instead of looking at time spent, what if we paid attention to the impact — in the community and in the traveler?
The blurry line between itinerants (migrants going back and forth) and long-term tourist creates an interesting spectrum of intentions that affects their destinations in many different ways. While itinerants are typically creating value, tourists are moving the local economy with their money. However none has a real commitment to the local culture and may alter the fabric of local cultures without intent. Whether a homogenization process kicks in, eventually diluting ancient cultural manifestations or the external agents (itinerant/tourist) are integrated into a new cultural framework is a serious matter.
Hopefully, from this conference we’ll [...]