Friday, April 29, 2005

Change! Love Her or Be Her Bitch!

(I know, it sounds like fun either way!)

Not long after many were criticizing Bill Gates for calling for an end to the smart people quota for immigrants, (H-B1 visas or some such thing) the BBC runs a story about Indians returning home from America for better opportunities in India.

"Ah! So what?" Says you.

India and Japan are forging closer ties.

"Ynah! What of it doc?" Says you.

China and India are forging closer ties and they constitute about one third of the planets population. China has a mature manufacturing sector and India has a mature service sector, specifically in tech services like software, customer service and increasingly, financial services. Not only are they natural markets for each other's strengths, they are potent investment opportunities for each countries growing wealth and expertise. They are both making a rapid transition from developing to developed status. Together they are sometimes referred to as Chindia. Two civilizations, one major center of gravity.

"What has this to do with anything, mate?" You says in a cockney accent.

By far, the nations that have been the winners so far in globalization are the ones which have accepted the most immigrants, specifically the ones of British descent such as America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain herself. This acceptance, may be because Britain entered the industrial revolution first and so learned early lessons about labour (Canadian spelling) mobility or because she owes her formation to repeating waves of immigration - the originals (whoever they were) the Celts, Angles, Saxons, Normans etc. - much like the other nations on the list, to the chagrin of each generation of natives. Either way, those who accepted new people and new ideas, gained.

"Again, I don't see a point." I mockingly attribute to the reader.

English is becoming the world's lingua franca (irony alert) but it is really hard to learn to function in another language because even if you learn a lot of the vocabulary there is no guaranty that someone else who is learning the language will learn the same words as you. Someone came up with the bright idea of coming up with a standard list of 1500 words that can allow you to express yourself and they branded it "Globish" as more and more people start learning Globish it becomes more useful in areas where English is a second or third language. Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing the planet may soon develop a universal language, especially if the 1500 words start to get incorporated into other languages.

"Are these bits and pieces related in some way?" You wisely ask.

While there is still only a fraction of the African continent which has access to cell phones, it is the fastest growing cell phone market on the planet. This is simply because, with the poor quality of some of the infrastructure there, the savings on telecommunications verses old style transportation are vastly superior to the gains that industrial nations reap by making the same transition. Also, they are starting with a relatively deregulated telecom industry while the rest of the world started out with public systems and had to privatize over time. Not to mention the fact that fixed lines are so hard to lay and the copper is so valuable to thieves that mobile technology is just more suited to the region. They are going to be the first region on earth to make the transition from poverty to modernity by going through mobile technology telecom industries first and manufacturing and service sectors after. This may be an advantage not to sneeze at.

"I think I might be starting to see where you are going with this ramble." You propose.

Many beliefs about beliefs exist. Christians are optimistic because the see fast growth of their faith in the developing world, specifically Africa and Asia. What they don't see is that the development in South America is a divergence between the vast Roman Catholic community (homogeneity) and the new Protestantism (diversity). They also do not see that the expansion of Christianity is the result of the efforts of the most conservative believers, having found a poor reception in the West, bringing the most conservative version of Christianity to the developing world. (I believe it was Bishop John Shelby Spong from whom I first read this proposition.) Some will set up churches based on little more than an introductory Bible reading and so the established church which they leave behind have no access to the last several centuries of theological thought. They are even less ready to confront the modern world than are many of the most conservative Christians in the West. This could result in a faster and more traumatic collapse of the Christian church in the developing world than that which the West has seen.

Islam cheerleaders are also up for a let-down since they point to the rapid increase of their faith as a hopeful sign. It is not apparent to them that these gains are from birth rates which have been falling for some time. Even in the nations with the highest birth rates and the strictest prohibitions against birth control, birth rates are falling.

Even my ilk (atheists) like to point to the census of the last ten years showing that the number of non believers has doubled in North America. It seems though that much of this gain is due to people who were already atheist/agnostic/nonreligious are more comfortable going against the "majority effect" where you answer surveys as the member of the majority because you just don't see your self as anything else.

In fact the only demographic trend that seems to hold with regards to belief is a diversification of beliefs.

"This is about the title of this article is it not? Something about change?" You say, putting your finger on it.

The Internet is directly and indirectly responsible for changing governments. In fact, it could be argued that the Internet has caused more regime change than Bush as even contemplated. The Internet and e-mail are young in comparison to culture at large and the Web is even younger still. Blogging is infantile in age and yet seems to have had a faster effect than the web itself. What will the next peer to peer file-trading or communication application bring? Religions are splitting and merging and morphing all over the place. Languages are doing the same. People and their genes and their cultures are mixing and matching. Education and wisdom are in full and frontal conflict with ignorance and selfishness. While all this is happening, science and technology keep advancing; first by leaps then by bounds. Advances in measuring technologies, data mining techniques, artificial intelligences. Neurology is now providing direct applications to the computer industry. (see the latest issue of Scientific American for the article on neuromorphic chips)

Change is here. Love her or she will make you her bitch.

(It still sounds like fun either way!)
'Well, kinda." You admit.


At Wed. May 04, 05:11:00 p.m. 2005, Anonymous Sunni said...

Spot on. Adapt or die. (Well, so far the latter still is a given, but I trust you still get my point.)

At Fri. May 06, 10:46:00 p.m. 2005, Blogger Apesnake said...

Yes, with death as with life, timing is everything.

It is as they say:

"You come in to this world naked, covered in blood and screaming at strangers for mercy they can not give...

And that doesn't have to stop if you know how to live right."


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