Friday, January 27, 2006

The oceans aren't quite as wide anymore

The world is getting smaller and smaller as we get interconnected and the trade of communication becomes a global language.

As we shrink down and get closer to each other it becomes more important than ever to understand other people and their cultures. Higher education seems to agree with me. Seeing as, in the wake of China's rising stature as a business mecca, many colleges and universities are encouraging students to take Chinese as a foreign language.

I think it's important for us to know what's happening in the world. Just yesterday, I was having a discussion with a friend about world politics and cultural exchanges. He made the point that, "The world is ****** up," and that there is nothing we can do about it. Now before you, just dismissing his comments as the cynical views of a disillusioned mind, think about it.

He's right in many ways. India and Pakistan are constantly at odds and both have nuclear bombs ready to deploy. North Korea is openly boosting of destroying America and taking South Korea. China won't leave Taiwan alone. Palestine is changing day by day and a potential terrorist government loams overhead. The Gaza Strip has become so trivial, that we sample rap lyrics like "Peace in the Middle East" rather than deal with it head on. The entire continent of Africa is struggling with AIDS. There's not much one person can really do in these cases. So in a way my friend is right. However, we mustn't give up so easily.

What can we do? You get informed and then you have discussions like the one we had, and you go out and learn what is happing in the world. You try to understand it and ask yourself "why?" Then you work on finding the answer, even if you can't solve the worlds problems at least be aware of them. At least try to understand eachother, maybe that's all it'll take.

That's what you can do. You have no right to complain about the world if you won't bother to get informed.

On a lighter note, you might be wondering what inspired this post. It's time for an upper. The world is smaller and I've seen it first hand. In the past three days, the hits for SLR have exploded. Normally I would have about eight unique visitors a day. Just yesterday alone I had 44! And the interesting part is that about 30 of those were from readers outside the United States! Largely in parts of the Middle East and Asia. I have no idea why the sudden surge in interest, but it feels nice to know people are reading.

It got me thinking, and being a photojournalist (notice the second word?) I'm naturally interested to news. And by pure coincidence fellow photojournalist and blogger Daniel Sato happened to send me a very unique news aggregator yesterday. A globally connected news medium. It seemed an interesting concept and one worth sharing.

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