Sunday, May 01, 2005

What's The Big Deal?

This blog is about globalism, a predominant worldly "religion" of immense importance. It highlights the wonderful creations that have come as a result, as well as examines the –ism’s inherent problems. As the world flattens to pancake-like proportions, each and every person is somehow affected by the actions of others. Thousands of miles and cultural distinctions matter little; we’re increasingly connected to the other astronauts on this biospheric spaceship. Although many exciting innovations were borne from the rise in globalism, our world systems are experiencing growing pains unlike any seen in humanity’s existence. Problems of incomprehensible scales threaten to nullify the advances made during the Industrial Revolution, the Green Revolution, the Post-War boom, and the Age of Information. It seems as though modernity has unwittingly made us slaves unto ourselves. Things ain’t the same anymore, except the slave part.

I am a child of 1980’s Virginia. Living in a community still flush with the dollars of pre-lawsuit Big Tobacco, childhood was grand. Days consisted of searching for crayfish and turtles in local creeks, playing football and racing motorcycles, skateboarding and pedaling our bicycles to hitherto unvisited neighborhoods. The era of urgency was still a few years off, at least to our childish brains. Oil prices had dropped to almost perverse levels, Atari and Apple were changing the face of computing (as well as social interaction, we’d soon learn), and hiphop was yet to become a global force in youth artistic expression. Despite the horrors of Reaganomics, a mood of complacency gently washed over the American populace. Our main worry was a communist nuclear assault, but even that fear was assuaged by a little concept called "mutually-assured destruction." Fast-forward to 2005 and things are radically different.

The faint blip of warning signals are being heard worldwide; humanity it seems, is overextending itself. Corporations are more powerful than ever, terrorism (we’re told) threatens to undo the fabric of democracy, the Earth’s ecological continuance hangs in the balance, and humans are as apathetic as ever. Without sounding like a Malthusian Chicken Little, it seems we’re in a bit of a bind. What can save us? What are the options that will allow us to live in cooperation with our support systems? How can we maintain the Western world’s levels of comfort achieved during the age of cheap and abundant fossil fuels? Mankind’s ability to adapt to change is uncanny. It has defined our existence thus far, and is probably the only thing that will save us from ourselves. This blog is a proponent of hi-technology and methodical innovation, of utter simplicity and purpose-driven design, of mundane pleasures and raucous celebrations of life. It is possible for these myriad of worlds to coexist, if only their interconnectedness is identified and reinforced. In the end, PSK is about finding the beauty in localism and community. This promises to be the last and most dominant identifier of future humans dwelling on this planet. Come to think of it, that's not such a bad thought.


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