The greatest paradox of the Internet era is the way that global communications tighten regional dynamics. Simultaneously, the world is flatter  and more intensely local. Somehow, greater access to planetary insight makes the neighborhood really important.

It’s counter-intuitive.

You’d think that globalized communications would homogenize culture. Alongside McDonalds, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Holiday Inn and the other giants of broadcast economy, the internet appears to regiment. Reduced friction implies limited choice, doesn’t it?

Concerns over cultural standardization are at the heart of anti-corporate sentiment in Europe and South America. Generic storefronts and choice limitations appear to be a dynamic that should spread beyond the enterprises built on them. From one perspective, American culture looks like these missionary outposts.

At the



 
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