A classic of civilization starts with a phrase. “In the begiining was the word.” The Bible then goes on to describe the story of creation. Out of a huge void God created concrete substances like the world. He did that by making order out of chaos. The digital age has made chaos out of order. Luckily humans have evolved enough to make order again.
Globalization is inevitable now. Too many of the problems facing the world can be solved by one nation or region. Lines of communication are too ubiquitous to be silencedThey are everywhere, even behind the backs of leaders or entities who might try to go it alone through thuggery. General populations in each of the wold’s near 200 countries have an inkling of rights that have been advanced since the Secong Wotld War. Someone in each of those countries will connect with outside others for a good cause that can go vira. Bad causes grow like weeds until dug out according to the rule of law.
A whole new world order was set up after WWII. The threat of nuclear weapons was the impetus for nations to now get along.
The world’s people had tried to cooperate through the League of Nations after WWI. The pact fell apart when Germany broke the law by invadng Poland and other nations jumped into the fray. Since World WarII the United Nations has been the central forum for nations to resolve differences by making new laws that nations then put into the laws of their own countries. All nations have signed on to the UN Charter with its core law of equality for all people. National legislations have left so much wiggle room that chaos now calls for a new order. Tecnology plays a najor role in shaping the new order bow that Russia has broken the new law by invading Ukraine.
As nations jostle to avert a new world war with nukes in play, informationvies with fakeries along the global info superhighway. Politics, economies and trade are major players, So are religion and ethnic cultural factors. Conflits trigger both fight and flight insticts simultaneously. In. response to the threat of chaos, defense verrules the sensible path of conflict resolution as augmented by plain old human common sense, especially when coercion is sensed whether real or culturally misperceived. In many cases, enterprise is victim or vilain, either justly or unjustly depending on info management.
Internationalism aims to smooth the chaos through information. It does this by the same process that God used in creating the world one sector at a time, giving it a name and assessing the product to see it was good. Since humans are still not God now matter how AI vies for the title, internationalism sticks with the adage that to be human is to err. It also adds the wisdom of science, such as quantum physicist Fred Alan Wolf that we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes.
Internationalism quells the fears of globalism by positive reinforcement of natonal identity. A small island may not have a grand GDP but it might have a solution to sea level rise that can be be developed into a product cappable of adaptation for global reach. All nations are equal in the eyes of internationalism. All nations are also here and now.
IIn internationalsm, history is the edifice for persona, not a cudgle for warfare or reparations. As American writer Henry James wrote, in reality, a story has no beginning or end. It is the happy job of the writer to make it seem as if it did. That is also the job of global lawmakers and diplomats
Global Hubs and Subhubs
A bird’s eye view of the world on a map shows areas that are vague common knowledge concepts. The “West,” for example, denotes democracy and capitalism. In many places it also connotes decadence. In actual fact, these countries vary widely.
Countries of the “West” are located all over the world. They have a variety of democratic governments and their economic systems range from socialist to capitalist. The economiccomponent is what separates the “West” from the rest of the world. The Communism of China puts control of the economy in the hands of the governmeeent. The “democracy of Russia hearkens back to the Soviet Communist years. Both those superpowers stand in contrast to the “free” West world.
By turns, Russia and China are rivals or adversaries.of the free world. What’s at stake for the future, stability, security and prosperity of the world is management of resources in the half of the world that is now emerging.
Globalism is a scary word for many around the world. Both the concept and reality bring up images of giant corporations bulldozing forests and carelessly killing with oil spills. But a global world doesn’t have to be this way. Democratic values can calm both reality and fears.
Internationalism calms those fears. It highlights national identies of the world’s 200 countries and draws similaries between wide-ranging cultures. It makes friends among the spectrum of global societies from commerce and politics to local communities. It promotes cooperation to make a workable world with transnational corporations that care about people. Internationalism does all that by fostering creativity, the lifeblood of civilization itself.
By the 21st century, creativity has been subsumed by technology. Invention translates into money, the traditional driving staple of America. But money easily comes and goes with clicks to social media sites. Those sites and platforms mushroom overnight only to disappear with the next daylight. Grounded in the classics of comparative literature as learned in the highly esteemed Indiana University department devoted to that study, Fogarassy overlooks the ephemeral and follows the wisdom of William James, America’s first psychologist and brother of more famous Henry, a chronicler of European-American differences.
“The art of wisdom,” wrote older brother William, “is the art of knowing what to overlook.” 150 years later with the world global, Fogarassy adds that such wisdom is augmented by what to notice among the overlooked.
Hungarian-American Fogarassy is a writer whose creativity in life is the subject of her work, In fiction, nonfiction, education and commercial work, she writes in the classical sense of searching for truth and telling it the way she perceives. At a seasoned point in a life of harrowing scrapes, she has concluded that trust is the most precious commodity on earth.
Much as technology has been a great blessing for efficiency, it has done damage to the human spirit. Machines don’t address the anguish of an American finding no human to answer a question about a mystery credit card charge. It doesn’t help bolster confidence in the company when it hides from human contact. Internationalism looks for ways to build the connection reinforcing trust..
The wisdom of Fogarassy’s experience comes mostly from trial and error..Born in Hungary, she changed countries three times at a formative age when her family fled from Communism after the heroic revolt against the Soviets that failed. Ukraine now fighting Russia to prevent a return to that ugly past is gripping to Fogarassy. But Ukraine’s courage and tenacity in fighting injustice are well familiar to her. It reflects her attitude toward having her work recognized in the great land of opportunity.
“I hate to write but I love to have written,” have said many writers including the oft-quoted anonymous. Writing a novel is a torturous experience. Success at the end when you know you could have done better.
Still, you know the completed novel is good based on your compare and contrast experience. When the work finds no home because it doesn’t fit with prelaid plans, you begin the next even better book. That is the same process Ukraine now undergoes in its fight for recognition of its integrity. It is the process that all evolving entities, whether individual or national, go through in order to be better than they were.
In its darkest days of anarchy, Somalis had a respected presence at the United Nations. The poorest countries among the world’s 200 devote resources to making a presence on the global stage.
A small country like Vanuatu is just as proud of itself as the mighty United States. It may be ignored now in the broader spheres of sports, politics and business, but coalitions are lending weight to their influence. Those small countries are also influential in resolving conflicts due to religious or cultural repression. The fight for recognition is a great driver of empathy, a quality universally admired for stimulating creativity.
Creativity is a driving force like eating, mating or finding shelter from a storm. The earliest cavemen drew stick figures on cave walls to express and ease their fears of a threatening world. When repressed, according to venerable psychiatrist Freud, creative energy can cause great harm, as seems the case in America.
Creativity needs room to grow and make the difficult process of expression worth the effort. The process in America seems to have been derailed by the tech explosion.
Costs for creative production are off the charts. The creative and financial hurdles in getting project approvals are virtually insurmountable. The answer of course is to throw open the doors and let material for creativity flow both in and out. In addition to language differences along with monetary and marketing risks for investment, the obstacles there are cultural sensitivities more frought with perils than a minefield.
The Global Cultural Range
The 50 American states are bitterly divided over transsexuality and the rights of women to make decisions about their bodies. Globally, both men and women are dying in Iran for the right of women to appear in public without a scarf. In Afghanistan, women have been silenced by a regime denying them an aducation. Crossing these lines entails great risk., which entails the great human virtue of courage.
Ukraine was barely a blip on the radar before Superpower Russia attacked it in an illrgal land-grab unseen since the Second World War. Occurring on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, the world let the assault slide when it first happened in 2014. Since the, America has survived a near coup. Like Europe, America has battled a stifling white nationalism and Asia along with Africa and South America has continued to quietly develop in wake of the Covid pandemic. Thus, when Ukraine showed inordinate smarts and courage upon a renewed attack by Russia, the US united the NATO trans-Atlantic Alliance and the global hierarchy shifted dramatically.
Russia’s assault on Ukraine brings together many of the issues involved in a global world. It brings into question the democratic principles Ukraine chose to follow and the lawless brutality of Russia in response to resistence against its status quo use of force to coerce compliance. Those are questions that affect the US domestically, particularly with regard to the racial divide that has been a scourge of humankind since way before Shakespeare wrote his immortal works in the 1500’s chock full of racist, anti-semitic and elitist observations.
In dealing with the enormous challenges facing issues calling for unity to address, there is no point in relitigating history and its unfortunate modern manifestations. America, the land of immigrants founded on the backs of slave labor, is wealthy today in great part because of that start. But industrial machinations have brought he country to its current leading position in the global hierarchy. The best compensation for past suffering is promotion of current opportunities. Recriminations bring diviciveness, resentment and the most unhelpful defensiveness wide open for the defenseless stupidity of panic.
Communication in a Global World
TMI, too much information is the watchword for the global 21st century. Humans the world over are connected by technology. But with little regulation aside from crackdowns by authoritarian regimes, the absence of editors, traffic cops or accurate rating measures, both individuals and movements die with barely a ripple. They are small fish in a very big pond indeed. Quality of communication is the victim.
Roughly speaking, the digital age began around 1990 as Russia lost the Soviet grip it had held since the last global conflict of the 1940’s. Collapse of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War between Russia and wesrwe democracies, a period that had let China amass enormous clout as an emerging economic power. It holds on to that status complete with considerable economic advantaes in certain economic circles at the global level.
The upshot of the digital age coinciding with economic gamesmanship was competetive rivalry powered by information. Everything from stocks, finance, manufacturing and trade routes became increasingly dependent on information. They also became correspondingly susceptible to misinformation, false info, false flag bamboozles and downright manipulation.
As the econimic leader with highly visible social conflicts, the US is a prime target of envy.. Its cultural tradition as lone ranger locks its focus into protection rather than cooperation. As it now floundered in a mire of local concerns, it reels from a near-coup that thrust it square into the global world. Coups were no longer a peril in distant third world countries. One had happened at home and could happen again. It had occurred under a leader with deep ties to Russia and other authoritarian hubs like the Middle East. By attacking Ukraine, Russia made manifest the dual potential of digital technoloy, for either good or ill. The invasion is a litmus test for America’s direction in a global world.
Digital technology has radically transformed the world. The aereole roots of information flow now reach into every corner of the globe. In many cases, the shift outward has depleted the deep ground-roots of culture. In most of the world’s near-200 countries today, the individual is a will-o-the-wisp subject to winds either good or ill. Governments, institutions, commerce and cultural traditions determine the direction.
Moreover, the world wide web has exponentially outperformed the 1454 Gutenberg printing press in information flow. Originally conceived by the US Department of Defense, the internet is now a battleground for democratic principles. Free speech is in digital war with the economic interests of private enterprise social media moguls. As the info superhighway builds arteries worldwide, potholes and sinkholes in the concrete make the industry rife for legal evolution. Since that work is critical for detering crime and abuse, the precision of language regains an importance lost in the haze of weeds and wilding now clogging the highway lanes.
Words and language connected to thought are the writer’s domain. Classically trained Fogarassy brings the advantage of institutional memory to her work in the digital phase of the ageless art of writing in the turbulence of an industry in upheaval. Hidebound rules of the publishing world don’t apply when private enterprise assumes the risks that publishers once took in a gamle on whether a work would find the public interest to recoup an investment largely enough to earn a profit. Intellectual property and copyright protections provide skimpy cover for works purlloined by hackers or conglomerates like Amazon and Google. But at the heart of all the grubbing is the message that endures beyond the 15 minutes of fame that some of the best paid influencers can claim for no more than a minute.
There is no question that digital technology has radically transformed the world. Its impact has been more profound than electricity itself. The cell phone eliminated decades of electrifying rural areas. But even more striking is the fact that the sudden clash of cultures is as explosive as the writing process has been since the earliest days of civilization.
Writing at its core is a way to express, convey and preserve feelings, thoughts and ideas. But as Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuan wrote back in 1964, the medium is the message. In the digital age, writing is as flexible as a person or culture wants it to be. It can be as fleeting and shallow as a social media emoji. Or it can be a rich product of deep thought worthy of preservation as part of the social fabric. The diffence lies in the way the brain has evolved to process information
With apologies to experts who study the field, the simplistic model of the brain shows two lobes. The left processes information in a linear, logical way, the right in a holistic spacial way. The sudden mis of logical facts in a sensory-rich digital contest gave the brain a virtual whiplash. The brain has adjusted in the intervening years but the switch has resulted in a generational gap.
Young people born into the digital age write and edit simultaneously for a finished product. Older people still think out thoughts logically, checking the product to make changes that make a better fit between idea and product. That is the hard part of writing, the part that makes for easy reading. It is like the distillation process in making fine wines or the aging of cheeses.
Simply put, process makes the product and process takes time, That is a principle that applies to cultures as a whole. It is a source of conflict in many parts of the world where national boundaries assigned after World War II split long-established ethnic groups. It happened with Israel, Pakistan, Eritrea and Iraq, among many others. It is the core principle violated by Russia when it invaded Ukraine.
By invading Ukraine, Russia broke the law as defined after the atrocities of the Second World War. It defied the principle of sovereign national integrity. Like other former Soviet republics, Ukraine was granted that status when the former Soviet Union basically went bankrupt in 1991. So the law and transgression are both clear. What allows the crime to continue is the concept of culture as a time-sensitive product that Russia’s leader manipulates.
In other words, Russia and Ukraine have a history together. Their involvement is common knowledge in both countries and the world at large. Russia’s leader tells one version of the narrative and cuts off infotmation flow contradicting it. Breaking through that info death curtain is complicated by the Russian lea
The Art of Writing
Poets, Writer, Tweeters
Writers are a breed apart from other folks. Like those who practice any art, writers are a charmed subspecies. They are forever children. They see the world as a gestalt whole while other adults learn to segment their lives to be socially useful. Artists find new ways of looking at life to make life more meaningful for others. Writers do this with the precision of words.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the diffrence between lightening and a lightening bug, the American humorist Mark Twain reportedly said. He made that observation while recording his impressions of the age in which he lived.
Twain was born in the border state of Missouri as the young America was liberating slaves through a civil war. With that question settled, Twain turned his attention to the new American identity forming apart from its European roots. In a global world 150 years later, those roots are newly entwining to insure world security with the democracy Amerca adapted from forebears.
Like Twain, Fogarassy records her view of the tumultuous world in which she lives. The surprising factor is the degree to which elements remain the same the more that conditions change.
Fogarassy was born into post WWII Communist Hungary. The family was forced to flee after a 1956 revolution against oppression was put down by Russian Soviet tanks. The Iron Curtain across half Europe came down in 1989 and the Soviet Union itself collapsed two years after that. Yet 30 years later, Russia began rebuilding its evil empire by invading Ukraine. A new American president united European allies in aid of Ukraine’s fight against invasion, but a new form of tyranny had those countries in its grip.
As in Fogarassy’s case, forced migrations were not new in the 21st century. The novelty was the added complexity of racial distinction. In the threatening age of globalization, the racial factor became highly politicized.
From the Euro-American perspective, it seemed the rich western industrialized powers were hell bent on creating gated communities to protect themselves. Through a broader lens, all cultures are proud and protective of their heritage.
Economic dominence, military might & industrial strength are critical factors in a country’s global standing. But good will & willingness to cooperate are equally important for success in tackling global challenges like climate, health, food and freedom to live and communicate.
Enduring values are the ones that interest internatiolist writer Fogarassy. With good will as the umbrella virtue, immense changes are manageable if honor, ritual and respect are part of the
Career practitioners of any art are the lucky ones in a society. They are free spirits, dedicated to self expression. Unfortunately at present, society does not recognize artists as central to its soul. The Covid pandemic may have sparked a revolution in the direction of art.
Isolated in a series of shutdowns, people deprived of routine distractions found life empty. Pre-pandemic jobs were boring and not worth the security that servitude offered. The creative seed had seemingly found fertile ground but society had to till the soil if the flower was to flourish.
A Google search shows creativity as synonymous with innovation and its value is measured by income. A search for social and cultural creativity brings up a whole slate of different countries, half of them with emerging economies. Perhaps this current divergence in values points to a happy future world with art having a central role in the soul of each country.
For such a change to occur, the west would venture forth from its current tech comfort zone. The United States in particular would drop its disdain for intellectual pusuits. Liberal arts degrees would be promoted as much as MBAs and they would be mainstreamed so as to free the intelligent from their current Ivory Tower prisons. Most importantly from the perspective of a writer, the current social media dumpsite would take on meaning.
Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway were just two of the many writers throughout the ages who stressed the importance of experience to writing. “Write what you know,” Twain advised. In today’s highly structured society, independent experience is a hair-raising venture.
Churchhill once said that success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. By that measure, a writer becomes good at the craft by chasing daily success in the form of faith in the process despite the lack of external acknowledgment. Writing a tweet can take little or much effort. Only the writer knows whether the words conveyed the idea intended. Number of follows, retweets or responses bear little or no relevance to the writing.
As an expression of thoughts and feelings. writing is iniquely poised for precision. A writer knows when the sweet spot has been hit. When it hits that same spot in thr reader, eureka!
In the social media age, words fight through jungles before that mutual sweet spot is hit. By then, those wordsa have already made the laborious trek from mind and heart to the screen. Alas, evidence is scant that many writers brave the rigors of honing words to great precision. Yet the classics prove the value of the effort, however tedius the reading by modern standards. “To be or not to be” is as relevant as ever.
Scholars, students and esoterics read the classics. They are a joy to know. Those who write in the classic mode are in for a hard struggle. Posting on social media calls for suspending all the the rules that help a writer express deep thoughts and feelings.
Why America Needs the world
Like it or not, the world is going global. American business depends on it, as does the world economy and global stability. America is the major driver of that economy now. A global mentality will help Amerca stay that way and internationalism shows the path.
A broad view of itself will also help America cope with domestic ills. The worls’s most most vibrant democracy is in danger of losing the of losing the power it founded due to factors that today are global in nature. Racial, religious, cultural and political strife are now surprisingly similar the world over. Countries at all stages of development can learn from each other.
For all its remarkable strengths, American culture has grown stale. Some view this state as a decline, the inevitable fate of all great past empires. Yet its very founding in democratic principles is the American saving grace in a global world. Migration due to climate change and social unrest presents a brand new opportunity for the land of immigrants. A global mindset opens that door.
Like climate change and social entitlements, debate is stalled by polarities based on dubious facts. America’s nearst cultural relatives in Europe have solutions for Americans to consider. Similarly, America’s Blacks are well-experienced in fighting for the rights that to many in the world’s 200 countries are faraway ideals.
Those American Blacks are part of the American fabric, as are Asian Hispanic and Arabic minorities. They live all over the country with White American counterparts now overlooked by established entities in finance, education, politics and the media. A greater voice for them benefit America. Their input will also help establish ties with the currently faceless small countries thare are the source of Americann immigrants.
Egotism and self-absorption are no better for a nation than for individuals within it. Currently, suicide rates and drug overdose deaths break new records every year in America. Increasingly those tragedies afficct the young and the affluent. Most critical are the annual death rates from gun violence, the most jarring of which are mass shootings.
Americans are angry. They are frustrated by a stale social culture that has greatly reduced opportunity to move from social pockets. Open the window, increase opportunity and reduce the anger of frustation. Not a cure-all but more than an aspirin.
the current tech age, over-abundance has led to over-specialization skewed to terrrial tech hubs. Competition within those hubs aimed at local markets greatly limits access to the process for huge parts of the world. The solution is to broaden reach by upgrading the institutional memory of global history.
No small order but a field ripe for the mutuality of profit. For global entities invested in the people they serve, virtual word of mouth is as good as gold on a global scale.
Likewise, sectoral gaps within societies can be breached to smooth avenues for market access. Academic and rural fields can find common ground with targeted messaging and optics, especially with a soft sell approach as opposed to dutiful preaching or coersion. For most people worldwide, learning works best as an entertaining choice rather than an odious chore. That’s as true about products as about social issues that affect the ability to acess poducts and services. Those include politics and honest information about the tech industry.
Advertising can help, harm or annoy. It can also be a worthless waste of time if misdirected. In a global world, the potential for any of those options is explosive and that’s where art and the market meet. The writing arts are particularly relevant to the marketplace with their long standing motto that the pen is mightier than the sword. The pen is also less deadly, more fun and enduring, as it will be again once the digital rage subsides into manageable order
Even in America, few today even know Nathaniel Hawthorne, the American autho of the Scarlet Letter, the novel that sparked the country’s dark romance genre. The wild side of life has always fascinated Americans, under the radar intil violence broke out. In the digital age it has gone viral in an emerging global world where language and culture are economic drivers.
In the 21st century, the world’s leading economy is suffering from a backslide in democratic values. It also betrays a naive isolationism that threatens its lead as an economic juggernaut
Turmoil in America shakes allies and enboldens rivals. Allies like Australia andJapan are geographically tied to main rival China, the communist country using economic clout to widen its global orbit. By now it has a hefty foothold in Asia, Africa and South America. That gives it great leverage as mediator in conflicts. It thus shapes the future, especially wheclear power is brandished as a weapon. North Korea, as are countries of the Middle East. The pivotal point is Ukraine.
In essence, Ukraine is current
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