it's not a small world25 May 2017
a few days ago i wrote a story for alternative futures about… well, i’m actually not totally sure how to describe what it’s about. in fact, i just sat for about a minute (i know because my writing timer was open) trying to find the words and couldn’t. the story is called benders of the arc and part of what it gets at is this phenomenon i’ve often experience where once someone mentions a resource or person, i hear about it repeatedly until i just dig into whatever it is/was.
writing that story has changed my own worldview (which i think is part of the point of writing visionary fiction). how?
because now the phrase “it’s just a small world” doesn’t make sense to me anymore. in the story, there is some unknown coordination force that connects people to other people or resources. in real life i think that force is class and other social divisions.
on a regular basis (i’d say 2-4 times/week) i find out that someone from one part of my network knows someone from a completely different part of my network. and sure, i could say that the world is small, but the world is actually huge. there are 7.5 billion people here as of may 2017. the fact that two people from distant parts of my network is more a statement about how small and interconnected my network is. it’s less a statement about how connected we all are.
now, that’s not to say that we’re not all connected. my point here is that it doesn’t make sense to say that given the size of the socially constructed bubbles we each live in. if i hung out with fewer people who see the world as i do, speak my language, and went through the same schooling process that i did, i can only imagine that the phrase “it’s a small world” would be used much much less often.
though i could be wrong…
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