on globalization

in the past couple of weeks, i’ve had a few different interesting conversations on globalization, whether or not it’s good, and it’s effects. in the conversations, a few thoughts are crystallizing.

the first is that i think globalization is happening and there’s little anyone can do to stop it. i just hold that as an assumption. i would be happy to be challenged on it, but as far as i assess power on the planet to date, we are unstoppably moving towards global interconnectedness.

next: i don’t think globalization is inherently bad. i think globalization with extreme power imbalances is bad, but i always think extreme power imbalances are bad. globalization, done properly, could be amazing.

next: re-localization is necessary for globalization to not be awful. and i don’t think a globally interconnected world is anti-thetical to a world that sees and prioritizes the value of the local. our current model amasses power to the largest players, but i see no need for that to be forever. if local contexts had the appropriate amount of power and decision-making authority while being meaningfully interdependent with other global local contexts, that could be amazing. what does that look like? i have some ideas, but i certainly don’t have any answers. well, one thing i do know, which i just alluded to, is that reach and size needs to be decoupled from authority and power. just because amazon is huge doesn’t mean it should be more powerful than every city and most countries.

finally: i think that one of the troubles with globalization is that family traditions and businesses die at what appears to be a high speed. children who grew up on family farms but then have access to the internet seem to seldom want to stay in the farming business. i just read an article about the korean free divers and their fear that their granddaughters won’t continue the tradition.

on the flipside: a potentially huge benefit is that, if we’re willing, children from all over the world have a planet of family businesses to slot into! and children who don’t want to be forced to keep up the family business can choose something else without fear that things won’t go on back home. i think it’s possible to have a net improvement of life and increase in self-determination for all.

now how to design all that and in emergent ways… hm!

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