Friday, August 26, 2011

Modernity once more

With the changing of the guard at Apple, there is another round of commentary on "How Steve Jobs Changed The World" (this one Andy Kessler's piece in today's WSJ).  It's another opportunity to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit, the modern world, global capitalism and many related themes. 

At the other extreme, there are always the Luddites.  But there are also many more people who grasp half the story.  They may love their cool gadgets, but they remain lukewarm when it comes to markets and the modern world. 

On a related theme, I have mentioned many times that tribalism has been humanity's scourge, but the modern world may conquer it.  The modern world represents not only our hope of conquering disease and famine, but also the tribalism scourge.  This is why I am a big fan of inter-marriage, which is on the rise across ethnic as well as national divides.

All this is to introduce Tammie Harrison's "My Life as a Chinese Dating-Game Star" (also in today's WSJ).  American TV and pop culture have long been popular abroad.  In recent years, there have been local adaptations which are always interesting.  There must be at least a dozen versions of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" in other countries.  I have seen the ones in Poland, Germany and UK.  Tammie Harrison writes about the Chinese TV dating show on which she (a U.S. student abroad) appeared.  Her story is a brief tour of the inevitable cultural stumbles that happen in these types of situations. 

But its a world where modern comunications do their magic.  Globalization means many things, including these small steps and stumbles toward world peace.