Morning Ed: World {2017.01.22.M}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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22 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Wo1: I’m wondering if a similar conflict existed during the previous era of globalization that existed before Word War I. From my historical reading, there seems to have been a lot of resentment at the big global cities like New York, Paris, London, and Saint Petersburg before World War I to. Its just that the communications and transportation networks were generally worse so there was still a big role for the hinterland and small cities in the national and international economy. The internet and much improved transportation bypasses small cities and makes rural areas less needed except for food production and wilderness vacations.

    Wo2: Buruma leaves out the most important fact. Japan is a rather naturally apolitical place. Its really hard to be a populist demagogue in a country with little interest in politics. Political dramas and court rooms dramas are staples of Western entertainment. Even a fun pop corn movies about intergalactic giant robots knows that it needs some politicians like the President making a decision. Japan can happily make entertainment about giant robots or alien invasions without a single token elected official making appearances. The government if any would be some secret organization that isn’t very democratic.

    Wo3: Blaming the Jews for everything that goes wrong is a global tradition.

    Wo5: I’m dubious about whether government can do anything about the emotional happiness of its citizenry. I also think this goes against the global zeitgeist. People might be lonely but there isn’t a right to social interaction, friendship, and romance. People can, fortunately or unfortunately, impose any condition they want and only associate with whom they want.

    Wo9: Doesn’t this more or less admit that global cities are hear to stay and more and more people are going to be living in their metropolitan areas. This might be better for the environment because more people are going to be living in smaller areas, freeing up land for wilderness.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to LeeEsq says:

      [Wo5] There is a limit to what governments can do, but that’s a long way from saying they’ve done it already.

      They can build, or not, a transportation system that works for people who can’t drive due to age or disability. Build or not a city that helps people with limited mobility to move around outside. Subsidize or not a whole range of recreational clubs, make sure or not that medical & social workers are aware of the clubs and able to refer people to them.

      That viral video thingy about the daycare in an old folks home, where the little kids & seniors get to hang out together – there was probably some government funding to make that happen, a grant that could have not been issued.

      My mom in law is able to get out & be sociable thanks to the city’s wheelchair bus service and to government funding to make her home wheelchair accessible. That could be improved, or cut back to save money for something else…Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Well, it suggests that the future is urbanized. Cities, but not necessarily (in fact, probably not) global cities. There’s just only so much space there and in an increasingly hierarchial world (which Wo1 portends).Report

    • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

      re: your w01 – I dunno. The runup to WW1 and the 1st half of the 20th century was nationalism operating on one axis (so to speak) and class struggle operating on an orthogonal axis. Urbanization and globalization fed into the overall dynamic, but the then global megacities were more the centers of all these conflicts vice a unified force against other opposing forces.

      If I’m not mistaken, pretty much every city everywhere was growing as the 19th century turned into the 20th, and the countryside wasn’t depopulating per se, but ‘excess’ population (due to the changing economics caused by tech and globalization, & the tech that caused globalization) were all flocking to the cities (near them in Europe or to the Americas)Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Americans hated New York before the Revolution. My understanding of the issue surrounding the location of the National Capitol is that every colony preferred a location closer to them, but the second preference was not New York. I don’t think that had anything to do with globalization, it had to do with the perceived undue influence of the financial capital.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

        New York didn’t really become the financial capital until well after the Revolution though. It wasn’t even the biggest city in the United States until sometime during the early 19th century.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I think New York initially diverged because it was uniquely a Dutch colony founded for the purpose of commerce and trade whereas the other Anglo colonies were founded for settlement. (And of course, the location as a port at the entrance to the Hudson River Valley is relevant) The American Revolution might not have been the best demarcation point because the City was depopulated during the occupation, but I’m not sure that population size really matters here. New York surpassed Phili in enrolled tonnage used in the coasting trade before it surpassed it in population. Its tendencies and direction were clear at the time. And nobody likes distant people or organizations that hold the purse strings; it’s feeding grounds for conspiracy theories (see [Wo3])

          How about emergent financial capitol?Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

      …makes rural areas less needed except for food production and wilderness vacations.

      Water and energy also. Everyone knows about LA, but NYC draws its drinking water from considerable distances, and one of the key considerations in how the Delaware River is managed is to keep the salt front downstream from Philadelphia’s intake pipes. South Florida is spending increasing amounts of money to try to maintain the Biscayne Aquifer. Not just the US — see Wo7, for example. Very little of NYC’s, or LA’s, or SF’s electricity is generated in-city. What is is largely natural gas fired, and the NG comes from long distances. In fact, a whole list of natural resources should be included: steel, cement, asphalt, copper, specialty minerals.

      And if I wanted @J_A to be angry with me, I would point out that the transport systems for all of those are relatively fragile :^)Report

  2. dragonfrog says:

    [Wo4] I was all ready to go one way on this, and then I read the obvious hate speech that got censored but it was a tweet by the deputy parliamentary leader of Alternativ fur Deutschland and all of a sudden calling Muslim men “barbaric gang raping hordes” in response to a tweet in Arabic is a “legitimate political opinion”

    And now I’m thinking it’s more that German politicians want a law enforced in German courts so they can be above it. So screw them. They’re mad because they accidentally held themselves to account, so they get no sympathy from me.Report

  3. Damon says:

    [Wo3]: Classic third world dictator blame shifting. “As your leader I’m not to blame for failing all my promises, it’s the US! They did this! As to the author of the anti jewish column, that’s for proving, yet again, that it’s not just white folks that are racists.

    [Wo4] Frankly, I’m surprised this is handled by the SM companies. I assumed the gov’t was communicating directly to these companies and directing any actions being taken.

    [Wo5] And here I thought the US gov’t was too all up in my business. But as the saying goes, America follows the Brits in this kinda social crap.

    [Wo6] LOL “binding international courts”. How many divisions does the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have have?

    [Wo7] Damnit. I’ll be there 3 months AFTER this crisis hits. Don’t be screwing with my vacation!Report

  4. Doctor Jay says:

    [Wo1] This is right, and then its wrong. There is little left of the old commercial ties between different parts of the country. Nobody needs steel from Johnstown PA.

    AND, there is not much reason that a lot of what is done here couldn’t be done somewhere else. Shipbuilding kind of has to be done at very good harbor and the SF Bay is ideal for that.

    The only reason there’s so much tech stuff located here is history. There’s no geographical advantage other than proximity to Stanford and Berkeley. That’s significant, but not as much these days.

    This mirrors the Amazon new HQ discussion. Currently I’m doing work with someone in Edmonds, WA, Miama, FL and Falls Church (I think), VA. And someone local.

    It works. My cousin just moved to Boise because he works online and its cheaper in Boise than in Greater Seattle, where he moved from.

    A little policy help for this sort of thing might be good. I think we could put all those midwestern craftsmen to work making all sorts of custom manufactured goods, with some support for shipping, and customer service. We need to think small, not big.

    My uncle used to make wooden windmills – the wind would turn the blades and this would power a simple animation. They were brightly painted and fun. He lived on a beachfront with a road between his fence and the beach and he put them out for sale along his fence line and in a few local shops. He made some decent money with it. The internet could scale this up for him, except he’s passed on now.

    We have the mass employers still in China, but I think of that as the last gasp of the dying. We aren’t going to have giant factories in the future.Report

    • Road Scholar in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      One of my best friends from high school was the kid that loved shop class. He now owns a business, partnered up to some extent with another guy who does welding, making custom spiral staircases. These are one-off, hand-made staircases that I assume are going into the homes of the relatively well-off. He’s doing this all from his shop he built on his farm out in the middle of nowhere Ks.Report

  5. fillyjonk says:

    [Wo5]: I am one of the introvertiest introverts that ever introverted, and yet I manage to find enough social contact to suit me. (I am a member of a mainline church. Not a big one, but we do have some social stuff, mostly dinners). There are a few local clubs I WOULD belong to did they not meet at a time when any working-age adult is at work (e.g., early Wednesday afternoons).

    I dunno. My concern with a government office of “fighting loneliness” is that it would morph into some kind of “office of enforced fun” that would hound those of us with more need for quiet downtime to do stuff. Already I cringe at the slightly-governmental PSAs about how juvenile delinquency is the fault of those bad adults who don’t give hours of their time to afterschool programs and the like.

    Granted, if I couldn’t drive, I’d be a lot more isolated, but there are grassroots workarounds to that as well. One of the women at my church, for the last 6 or 8 years of her life, didn’t drive (bad eyes). But she got around to all the social things she wanted, because there was always another member willing to drive her. (I remember the first AAUW meeting after her death, force-of-habit made me think, “Oh, I should call Dorothy to see if she needs a ride….” and then immediately “Oh, no.” and I felt sad again….)Report