Do you think that foreign nations should participate in the election of American presidents?
Writer David Usborne writes Outside Influence – USA in the February 2008 issue of Monocle:
Look beyond the cliché of hidebound insularism and you quickly see that just as the rest of the world is not immune to American influences, America is not immune to the rest of the world, even in its domestic affairs.
I had already explored the cultural influence that the world exercises on the United States, but given the political strength of the super power, it would seem absurd to expect that the United States would open up to the point of allowing foreigners to exercise any kind of influence on the outcome of their elections. Nevertheless the fact is that such influence is not gained in the form of votes (at least not of the popular kind), but through lobbyists that represent the most diverse interests, from foreign countries to global corporations trying to advocate their private causes. Somehow the idea of a few global corporations paying the salaries of lobbyist that work side by side with the most influential politicians of the United States doesn’t seem as crazy as [...]
After finding inspiration in the insightful fiction from Bruce Sterling about our hyperlocal future I wrote in hyperlocal culture:
The mechanisms that will enable society to hyperlocalize, therefore allowing to grow stronger as a unique entity are still to be developed, but if the future is anything like his imagination suggests, we are going to be fine…
That kind of optimism was only hopeful, but coming across outside.in has the power of dismissing any questions about what shape the “mechanisms” that I was referring to will have. By discovering all the conversations taking place in the blogosphere and aggregating them by neighborhood they are in fact allowing the citizens from each locality to discover the personality of the place where they live. Granted, these conversations may only be focused on certain topics right now, but I have no doubt that as the platform matures and people learn to use it, the spectrum and influence of tools like this one will be very important.
If only as an early attempt to figure out which neighborhoods will develop a better-than-average awareness of their hyperlocal potential, here is outside.in top 10 bloggiest neighborhoods in the United States:
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, New York
Shaw, Washington, [...]
Back in September I made a cryptic invitation to those interested in previewing a new kind of travel guide. Since the most read post in the last year is best reasons to travel, I know that most readers of this blog are very interested in all things travel, foreign countries, cities in other latitudes and all the experiences that will derive from them. So now that the product is almost ready for public launch I wanted to extend an open invitation to get in: register for a free account, upload the best travel photos you have, geotag them and get a beautiful map of your trips around the world like this one:
It may seem like a simple tool, but the power of imagery to inspire can’t be denied, and somehow I believe this blog has the mission to inspire people to understand the world beyond the boundaries of your city and find opportunities to reach out and become part of a new global culture.