My Thoughts > Ideas

  • Towards Cross Nations

    A few years ago I surprised a colleague from the US with an apparently trivial question, “Where are you from?” She looked at me, “What do you mean?” she asked. “Where was I born? Where did I go to school? Where do my parents live? Where do I live now? Where do I feel like I belong? Where would I like to belong?” The string of answers she gave me made a net all over the globe, because her father was a diplomat who had passed through half the world’s embassies.

    Citizens are citizens of different countries and mental continents. The most advanced citizens (interpret the term as you will) are not from one place only. They have multiple labels (tags) to characterise them, from different tribal origins. Some labels are idiomatic, some are scientific; some related to inclination, others to aspiration. When, from all the possible zones, I stand in one that corresponds to a particular label, I feel a part of it and act as its citizen.

    At this very moment new countries are being built in the world, some even without a physical territory. The Swedes who write Funky Business smilingly warned us of the numeric importance of what they called the “Independent Republic of Britney Spears”, made up of all her fans worldwide (who, by the way, add up to more than the population of Belgium). And isn’t this what is happening with the large corporations? Where is IBM from? Or Shell? Or Dell? Ok, they still have headquarters, from which they pay taxes, but where are their members from?

    Rolf Jensen warned us in The Dream Society that in the near future a few citizens from advanced countries could easily decide to create a better society and buy a part of the Sahara desert and, using the latest technology, create a 3.0 society superior to the Western society we know today. And isn’t this what is already happening in some small Arabic countries like Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Doesn’t the appeal that these countries have to Western talent, with the aim of becoming the halfway point (geographical and temporal) between East and West, and with their financial and audiovisual hubs (two where the sun never sets), show an advance towards Jenson’s prediction?

    We are heading for a horizontal world. One where communities are formed of interests and tribes. Music fans who get together every year in Barcelona for the Sonar festival. Independent cinema fans making pilgrimages to Sundance. Universal football clubs. European projects that promote relations between companies throughout the continent. We feel more comfortable with others who understand us than we do with people from the same place as us.

    I have my multiple labels, from my multiple interests and possibilities, and I might appear in a thousand Google search results made by people searching for very different things. It might be that right now there are people in the world who are entering me in their own world of interests, having found me on the Internet and decided that I should be part of their project (I am thought up by others, a bit like Borges). The world is miscellaneous, suggested David Weinberger. It does not have just one, but many simultaneous faces.

    From my book: Visionomics

    towards cross nations

    by acornella on abril 2014
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