A brief sociopolitical/psychological tangent, then the good stuff.
I’m of a mind that good fences make good neighbors.
I don’t want a global government or global culture any more than I want a global economy (which is to say, not at all). Many things just work better locally. Beyond that, though, there’s the old thought that if you get any three people in a room, you’ll have four different opinions on any given topic. …or something like that.
People just don’t agree in general; we’re individuals, and we all come at things a bit differently. Trying to make a global government never did make much sense to me. There’s certainly a good place for a baseline of civility, but trying to impose a collective consensus from on high just won’t work out.
Out here in the fringe society of MMO gaming, EVE works as a one-world sort of game, but even there, you have players going places to get away from each other. Low-sec vs. High-sec, mining vs. wormhole exploring. Us crazy humans are just a diverse lot with varied interests, and that’s OK. Even when more technology advances sufficiently to make other solid one-world MMOs, people will still just go off and do their own thing. (Especially us nefarious soloists. Neener neener.)
Anyway, I’m not really out in tin foil hat land huffing and puffing about the New World Order or the latest Communist Manifesto, as much fun as that could be to prompt some minor flamewars. What’s really important here is that people are inevitably individuals, and expecting to be able to mold people en masse just isn’t realistic. That notion of individual agency has implications for any sort of activity where people are involved and interacting, from gaming to politics to religion or whatever. We all need fences around our own decision making processes, or we’re no better than automatons fit for the Soylent Green Big Brother state dinner, and we need to respect the fences of other people.
As Robert A. Heinlein noted:
“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”
I’d posit that this division isn’t just political; it’s philosophical, and touches every human activity, at all ages.
So what? Well, lengthy preamble aside, I do find things like this to be curiously touching:
I don’t want globalization imposed from on high, but this sort of artist-inspired bizarre mashup of old and young, East and West, high class and street class, elegance and irreverence… well, it gives me hope that people from vastly different backgrounds really do have something to say to each other beside arguing.
That’s what I want out of “globalization”; people sharing and being good to each other, building something that is more than the sum of its parts. Call it “Peace on Earth”, if you will, but that’s my Christmas wish for this year:
May we all find reason to celebrate the other, learning and creating with an eye to cooperation, serving each other because we choose to, not because we’re told to.
Merry Christmas or Happy Whatever It Is You Celebrate This Time of Year! I hope it’s a good one for you and yours.
Oh, and speaking of Pachelbel and Christmas, I do love these, both hybrids in their own right:
…and while we’re talking rock, bonus points for the band OK Go teaming up with Notre Dame’s marching band and kids for a curiously philosophical comment or two:
Maybe it’s dumb, but I can’t help but smile a bit seeing potentially diverse groups like that producing something fun together.