Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Globalisation of the Mind

Here's a piece with a little less satire and possibly less humour. It is merely a theory, so feel free to disagree with me, but be wary, like a donkey drowning in chutney, eventually you'll see the accuracy of this reality, I guarantee.
(Rhyme count: 13)

Globalisation or Globalization? Affects or Effects?
Nevermind the first question. "S" or "Z" are interchangeable depending on your preferred method of solving problems.
  • Guns, lawyers, therapists = Z (US English!)
  • English tea, warm beer, looting in the streets = S (UK English!)
Lets talk about the second question. As I remember it, the term globalisation became popularised about 10-15 years ago. I remember there was plenty of buzz about it then, and it seemed to muscle its way into too many English Essay questions...which I thoroughly ignored. I opt instead for Option 2, "Write a letter to your neighbour to complain about his loud radio". I love challenging myself back then...

In any case, globalisation was meant to describe the economic integration of all countries in the world to form a sort of Single Global Marketplace. No barriers or cross-border an economic sense.

I put to you then, that Globalisation of the mind, is a phenomenon whereby individual thoughts around the world collect and pool to also form a Single Global Marketplace, but where in one you find goods, services, labour, and currency, in globalisation of the mind you find opinions, values, ideology and morals.The catalyst is of course, the great advances made  in Information Technology...namely the internet. The world wide web is the ocean of which all rivers of thought flow to.

Can we agree on two things? That the brain is a very malleable organ, and that a 'thought' is formed as a consequence of experience or memory? Laughing at a joke because experience has taught us what is funny. Buying coffee because we remember the taste and liked it. Staying away from strangers because what mum said (that's considered both an experience and memory).

Ok so our thoughts differ because our experiences and memories differ, correct? But what if a huge chunk of these two variables are the same for everyone?

To visualize what I'm trying to say, imagine the internet as a town. It would be a society where everyone knows your business, citizens shout out their thoughts in the streets (limited to 140 characters of course), your house is made of glass, and everyone constantly peers over your backyard fence. Now, to learn to cook the best food, everyone looks into the house of the best cook in town. To design a building, you sneak a peak at the best architect's blueprints.

In a society such as this, it would be pretty difficult for one to maintain their individuality, as you can imagine what happens eventually...everyone cooks the same meal, designs the same looking buildings, and listens to the same music.

This extends to more aspects of our lives than we previously thought. Opinions, interests, dressing, culture. Characteristics that once defined individualism are being invaded by collectivism.

Is that a bad thing?
I believe that this current generation is in a very unique position, just as the generation who first experienced the creation of newspapers. We will be the ONLY ones in history who would have lived both during the time with no internet and during the boom of the IT age. We are the only ones that can truly compare life B.I (Before Internet) and life A.I (After Internet).

Know that the ensuing generations will never know life without the internet and smartphones.So I would like to say my piece now before I'm grey and toothless and preface every sentence with "Back in my day..."

I think the wealth of information found on the net is great, and I have seen first hand how it's helping to reform a country (we'll get to that next time). But too much information may be stifling.
Here's an example.

Melbourne is (usually) regarded as the culinary capital of Australia. When asked which are the must-eat restaurants to visit, people mostly mention the same few restaurants. This is because there are plenty of extensive review and recommendation websites out there dedicated to rating and naming good restaurants. 

Malaysia is (undoubtedly) regarded as the food capital of South East Asia. But when asked the similar question of where are the must-eats...everyone mentions a different place because the web presence of food in Malaysia is limited. Everyone develops different loyalties and favourites. It is called the "Land of a Thousand Tastes" for a reason   

Pros and cons for both definitely. And this is but a simple example. Extend it to the likes of education, music,  art, science, philosophy, etc....who knows? I have yet to find a true Great Thinker during this Information Age. Have you? Nearly all (if not all) great thinkers of old are solitudal creatures, spending hours and hours a day in isolation, slowly dwelling on every thought then carefully shelving them away in designated areas of the brain, like a librarian.

I hesitate to say that globalisation of the mind is a bad thing, but I can say that it is inevitable. And the nostalgic in me will one day look back and miss the days when individual thought was at its most....umm...what's that word....(looks up

"Pertinent"! Miss the days when Individual thought was at its most pertinent.


  1. were you high when you thought of this? pretty awesome dude.. ;)

    1. Haha thanks man! Actually I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this...