Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Nomadic

Recently did I have the most fascinating conversation with someone at SFO during a flight back there for the Hacker Fair 0. She had just arrived. I was leaving.

Arriving about three hours before my flight was scheduled to board, I chose to linger outside the security checkpoint, at a place with edamame and a beverage to kill the time.

As someone who made up her mind to study Anthropology (and inadvertently Sociology) when she was a mere Freshman in University, I truly believe it. Perspective differs radically between narrow-minded city people (who have never lived in anything but city) and rural folks (who have never lived in anything but small town). In small communities, everybody knows everybody else. The pace is slow, and people linger to make small talk; family and community are more important than personal "fame" or status. There's not any particular hurry or need to get anywhere particularly, or to gather a bunch of fans or "followers".

Conversely, almost everybody within a large city is on a deadline. Bright lights allure, schmooze-fests appeal to the vanity people, egos stomp on other egos galore. Becoming a "known" is of utmost importance. Old names and old faces wield their narrow-minded power in every community large and small. After all, who does the media gravitate toward but those who've managed to attract a crowd?

Twitter could never have "taken off" anywhere else but in a big city. Where is the "big event" tonight? What's the pulse of the city chattering about tonight?

In the city, people seem to live a more sterile existence. Because the frequency of conversation with unique individuals is reduced, exponentially, by the population base, people become more hardened to their interactions. It's all a big competition.

This fascinating conversation, had with a gal ~ my age and of Indian ethnicity who hailed from London, really re-ignited my spark of fascination with cultural Anthropology from so long ago. She was on a trip around the world, having recently (intentionally cutting her trip there short) flown in from LA, and having already visited parts of Asia, Fiji and Hawaii. We both mused on how odd it was for us to be having the conversation; to be looking outward and individually at a place where people are typically herded and treated as cows.

Within the couple hours we spoke, I developed a great admiration for her. We share the same sentiments on media conglomerate white America's self-obsession, as they live in "the bubble". My family was always nomadic, and as a result of this, I truly and need to be in a place where there is a lot of diversity.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home