Globalization

Narz

keeping it real
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
Messages
30,592
Location
Haverhill, UK

This video is 12 years old, pre-smartphones, pre-covid.

I remember reading maybe 15 years ago about a trend in Japan called
hikikomori kids . Basically shut-ins withdrawn from society, now it seems almost the new normal.
My elder daughter is basically hikikomori. During coronatimes she did
virtual school for awhile & decided she liked it better. I can't say
I don't understand her reasoning, school is boring and the social
pressure is stressful. So she decided she'd prefer to attend virtual
school & her mom let her (her mother supposed to ask for my consent
regarding schooling, medical stuff, etc but that's just not her
style). Now she might go months without socialization, just
parasocial relationships. Her mom recently moved house (without
informing me). If I'd moved house at 15 it would've been a huge
change in my life, but for her it will probably barely be a blip, as
long as the computer comes along.

There's an ever expanding array of 'mental disorders' to try on
(please consult a mental health professional and/or tiktok) but it seems
few are organic (from some sort of genetic brain defect) and most
are simply attempts to handle profound systemic alienation.

With smartphones the idea of 'local' becomes ever more abstract. I'm
not on a high horse, when I goto the gym I have my own music on, most
of my day I'm listening to podcasts & lectures via headphones on what I'm interested
in not querying the townsfolk @ Tesco's for their opinions. I try to
be minimal in my consumption but I utilize Amazon & Costco when I can
to save money.

I haven't been on forums or social media for five months (save for
posting once on FB & have used FB marketplace) as an attempt to be
more present in my life but it's futile really, my social life is
basically nil outside my nuclear family & a four year old & one year
old clamoring for me to dress & undress their dolls in no match for
the wide array of intellectual 'nourishment' (like most modern
processes it nourishes in some ways while hunger remains) I can find
online. I do try to stay present with them as much as possible
obviously, likewise with their mum and I'm doing better but it would
be easier with a village (so we wouldn't have to lean so heavily on
just each other) & I don't have one.

If you got money you can buy community I guess or if you've stayed in
one place & been smart amount the way you've lived your life you
probably won't see things like I do but to me it feels very intense &
I see it in everything. Lately I've been trying to see it as a
natural cycle, we are in an extremely individualistic period in
history right now (we is parasitically exploited by the ruling class who
are also victim to it, when I look at the behavior of Elon Musk for
instance he appears to be a very lonely man despite immediate access
to sycophantic adoration @ a moment's notice).

I also try to keep in mind that I shouldn't idealize communal life.
In my adolescence I spent time @ a boarding school where I literally
didn't have a moment alone for two years, stuck with a lot of
malfunctioning miscreants day in & day out. I've stayed in
relationships & with friends for a sense of companionship & shared
mission that were mostly a fantasy in my head. So yeah, social isolation is better than a toxic social life.

In the political sphere (in US), people like Alex Jones rage against globalism while hawking overpriced
globalized products, Trump went on about America first & bringing back
manufacturing jobs while Biden told his donors nothing would fundamental
change if he was elected. Obviously there's populism on the left like
Sanders but it's more suppressed albeit more genuine.

Anyway, I'm all over the place as per usual, just wondering what the
'local' views 'here' are on globalization, the future of 'place' and
community autonomy in the modern world (feel free to comment on the
video as well if you like).
 
By the way, speaker in that TED talk made a documentary I watched ages ago & play to rewatch over next few days w my gf, now free on YT

 
First off, it's nice to see you back. :yup:

Place... yeah, it means something very different now than it did in my pre-internet life. Things like "here", "there", "somewhere else" can mean other forums, FB, FB groups, YT, blogs, as they can mean physical, offline places. It's like all these other rooms that exist in some other dimension but I'm very aware that there are real people who also visit them.

I don't get out much anymore. The first year of the pandemic, I think I left the building here maybe about 3 times? Maybe 4? Once was for essential banking, and the others were medical. Thank goodness for food delivery, or I'd have starved years ago. There aren't any real grocery stores within reasonable walking distance. I don't consider places like convenience stores to be real grocery stores.

Once upon a time I really didn't get the appeal of FB. A friend coaxed me into making an account many years ago, and the outcome of that was that we haven't communicated in years.

And then awhile back I got promoted to co-admin of a gaming group, so that's kept me busy. That, plus the current political situation in my province... lots to say, sincerely wishing some passing aliens would please kidnap the RWNJs running my province, and it's gotten to the point that between the wars, covid still being a thing, our sociopathic premier, and numerous other things, life's kinda depressing lately. Maddy's hopefully going to be 17 in a little over 4 months. I don't know if she'll make it.

Even NaNoWriMo has taken a nosedive. Stuff happened, the forum was shut down, and I'm trying to connect with other fanfic writers and not knowing if there's going to be any more NaNo (April's coming up and they won't even say if it's happening or not). I'm still writing every day, and getting all kinds of story ideas.

So I guess the physical world for me has shrunk to this building and a couple of "expeditions" each month for essential errands. Thank goodness for communication satellites that let us all keep in touch with each other. I've got enough books in my library, but there's nobody around here (physical 'here') who shares my interests enough for a meaningful conversation of more than about 5 minutes.
 
This video is 12 years old, pre-smartphones, pre-covid.
Speaking as someone who writes software for smartphones, they absolutely existed 12 years ago. Android was pretty bad, Blackberry (lol) still existed, but Apple was (well) out of the gate at that point.

With regards to the concept of a "shut in" spending their time on such devices, well, in my eyes, it's cyclic. We have written evidence from a bunch of past generations that kids (but not adults) were watching too much TV. Or listening to too much radio. Or reading too many books (and this goes back, in some cases, literally centuries).

Our interconnected world creates more challenges as a group than used to exist in more isolated circumstances (global 24-hour-focused media vs. taking a cart to the next town to literally deliver news), but I don't think it's inherently unhealthy. The main drawback of globalisation as I see it is that it's driven for the expansion (and to the benefit) of capitalism. We don't get to enjoy communal things for long, if at all, before they're made into a commodity and sold to make a profit. Grassroots groups drive (in my mind) healthy local engagement, but at the same time you have to be extra wary for bad faith actors and the like.

So to me it's not really a challenge, but our way of perceiving what is is rooted in stereotypes (particularly generational ones, e.g. what "kids" are up to these days, etc). That's where the challenge sets in. When we try to understand the things that are different to us, but still healthy, and we perceive it as negative solely because it's not what we do, or how we're used to looking at a situation. There's no real answer there, no judgement in general terms. It just is what it is.
 
Narz, does she know the difference between "l" and "we"?
 
Have you considered playing a social sport
 
Young kids and young adults need lots and lots of time outside doing stuff, almost anything will do (except smoking). for your older daughter, she will need good social skills to get along in her adult world. Help her learn them.
 
I'm with @Gorbles on this is part alienation and part cyclical.

But there is a difference in scale. First in terms of intensity of the phenomenon. Before, people were indeed criticized for losing themselves in books (read Don Quixote...), in TV or other stuff. But they needed to go out. Real shut-ins were few, only the depressed and the sick/moribund. And many of those had extended close families. Those who didn't snap out of it didn't last long if really isolated.

And then in terms of extent of the phenomenon. The world had never been so urbanized. And peopel so economically alienated, as in handling eberything in their lives in terms of economic transactios, bying all their needs. They used to have to do stuff because there was no one providing it as a service.

I'm worried.
 
The other day I read something in the news about this "new" idea of having multiple generations living together (grandparents, parents, kids).

WTF?

That's not new. That was my normal life for decades, until first my grandparents and then my dad died. It's what was normal for quite a few people my grandparents knew in the farming community they lived in before moving to Red Deer.

We even had a situation in which three of my cats were three generations of the same family: Maggie begat Lightning, who begat Tomtat. And then they were all spayed/neutered and after that the kittens I adopted were either strays or Freecycle adoptions.

It was a very hard adjustment to living alone, after all that time. But 15 years later, it would be a really hard adjustment the other way.

It was fascinating to watch the dynamics of that 3-generation cat family.
 
And peopel so economically alienated, as in handling eberything in their lives in terms of economic transactios, bying all their needs. They used to have to do stuff because there was no one providing it as a service.
What sort of things are you referring to here? If we are talking at the scale of hundreds of years to when most food and clothing was produced by the individual I get what you are saying, but I suspect you are not suggesting going back to subsistence living. Most of the other services that I can think of are technical that would not exist if professionals did not do them. Hairdressing could be an exception, but we are not going to fix isolation by cutting our own hair.
The other day I read something in the news about this "new" idea of having multiple generations living together (grandparents, parents, kids).

WTF?

That's not new. That was my normal life for decades, until first my grandparents and then my dad died. It's what was normal for quite a few people my grandparents knew in the farming community they lived in before moving to Red Deer.

We even had a situation in which three of my cats were three generations of the same family: Maggie begat Lightning, who begat Tomtat. And then they were all spayed/neutered and after that the kittens I adopted were either strays or Freecycle adoptions.

It was a very hard adjustment to living alone, after all that time. But 15 years later, it would be a really hard adjustment the other way.

It was fascinating to watch the dynamics of that 3-generation cat family.
Anyone who talks about multigenerational homes being a new thing knows nothing about history or much of the world.
 
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I was a 15 year old shut-in with minimal socialisation. I only had uhhhh heh Civfanatics. Can't say it was healthy ;)

But it was something. If I didn't have that, I don't think I would have fared much better.

There are differences. Virtual school wasn't an option for me, now it is to many more kids. I was interacting on a forum with (presumably) real people on the other side of the screen, not merely consuming social media feeds designed to keep you addicted where much of the content is made by more and more realistic bots. Home deliveries for eg. groceries, etc are ubiquitious now in a way that wasn't before.

I think we can have a balance. I met my partner online, and our relationship was online for the first year before he moved to my city. I met almost all of my now close friends online as well, but I meet up with them in real life regularly, at least for those who live in the same city (and I make time for them if I happen to be in their city). I work from home 3 out of 5 days a week. I definitely want to keep doing that, but I also don't mind the two office days a week. My partner and I leave the house almost every day, to go shopping, eat out, see friends, or just walk around, so we know our neighbourhood pretty well. Where I live, 50% of the residents are immigrants, and the benefits of globalisation are very much on display all around. Where we fall down a bit is we don't know our immediate neighbours that well, and we don't keep in touch with our families as much as we probably should.

The future? I'm cautiously optimistic that the vast majority of people will still want the same things they've always wanted: connection, community, relationships, and they will seek spaces and opportunities that give them that, online or off. I don't think they get can that from AI girlfriends, or social media that's increasingly saturated with bot garbage (if/when? AI becomes good enough that it can give more than a tiny minority of people those things, we'll have much bigger problems than that). If we are worried about that as a society, then we need to create and protect the spaces and opportunities that people use to socialise, not just tell kids to Go Outside.

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Online, that means protecting and nurturing spaces like... well, like these. Regulations on AI and algorithms so they don't eat the internet, but otherwise err on the side of protecting free speech. Offline, that means good housing, good transit, good jobs, safe neighbourhoods, public spaces, festivals, sports. You can't (perhaps, shouldn't) force people to socialise, but you sure can make it easier to.
 
Narz, does she know the difference between "l" and "we"?
I don't follow
Have you considered playing a social sport
For myself? I considered an adult softball league back in the States but I never got around to it. Here in UK I'm considering joining a running club but I'm procrastinating (my excuse is currently 'til the weather gets warmer & the days longer', we'll see how that stands up come late Spring)
Young kids and young adults need lots and lots of time outside doing stuff, almost anything will do (except smoking). for your older daughter, she will need good social skills to get along in her adult world. Help her learn them.
It's hard because I'm in a different country & she doesn't keep in touch. I feel quite guilty but I followed her mum around for 14 years, I text all the time to keep in touch & try to send her motivating stuff as well as share stuff going on where she lives but it's mostly crickets in return.
Real shut-ins were few, only the depressed and the sick/moribund. And many of those had extended close families. Those who didn't snap out of it didn't last long if really isolated.
Back in the day you had to be enabled to be a shut-in by a relative most likely who would attend to all your needs. No as long as you have money you can get everything delivered (or 'streamed') to you. To the modern corporate overlords the more shut-ins the better as pretty much 100% of your expenditure is going straight to them as small business & the informal economy can't compete as well to that audience (besides online scammers who are having a field day with an even more isolated and graying population)
The image is a good representation of the ugliness of the modern corporate landscape (and it's ubiquitousness, instead of the shape of a human settlement growing organically from the land like a picturesue cliffside Italian village you can ugliness like this copy/pasted wherever a buck can be extracted).

However I wouldn't say it's the world 'the boomers made', 99.999% of them had very little part in it, they just worked within it, perhaps tried to fight it but got swallowed within it.
 
I don't follow

For myself? I considered an adult softball league back in the States but I never got around to it. Here in UK I'm considering joining a running club but I'm procrastinating (my excuse is currently 'til the weather gets warmer & the days longer', we'll see how that stands up come late Spring)

It's hard because I'm in a different country & she doesn't keep in touch. I feel quite guilty but I followed her mum around for 14 years, I text all the time to keep in touch & try to send her motivating stuff as well as share stuff going on where she lives but it's mostly crickets in return.

Back in the day you had to be enabled to be a shut-in by a relative most likely who would attend to all your needs. No as long as you have money you can get everything delivered (or 'streamed') to you. To the modern corporate overlords the more shut-ins the better as pretty much 100% of your expenditure is going straight to them as small business & the informal economy can't compete as well to that audience (besides online scammers who are having a field day with an even more isolated and graying population)

The image is a good representation of the ugliness of the modern corporate landscape (and it's ubiquitousness, instead of the shape of a human settlement growing organically from the land like a picturesue cliffside Italian village you can ugliness like this copy/pasted wherever a buck can be extracted).

However I wouldn't say it's the world 'the boomers made', 99.999% of them had very little part in it, they just worked within it, perhaps tried to fight it but got swallowed within it.
Sorry, first, nice to see you back! I gather she is 14-15? I was just wondering as a parent, how you assess her decision making skills?
 
15

I think her decision making skills are poor as she doesn't often have to make them and she protects herself from making them due to lack of confidence which is a vicious cycle

Again I understand being young and wanting to avoid social anxiety and avoid the pressure of having to worry about what adult life will entail and now kids are navigating the sea of distractions that is our modern world that didn't exist 30 years ago.
 
The future? I'm cautiously optimistic that the vast majority of people will still want the same things they've always wanted: connection, community, relationships, and they will seek spaces and opportunities that give them that, online or off. I don't think they get can that from AI girlfriends, or social media that's increasingly saturated with bot garbage (if/when? AI becomes good enough that it can give more than a tiny minority of people those things, we'll have much bigger problems than that). If we are worried about that as a society, then we need to create and protect the spaces and opportunities that people use to socialise, not just tell kids to Go Outside.
I'd say that people wanting connection, community, relationship is a given due to them being hardwired needs. But AI/social media not being able to provide for these needs, doesn't means that they won't simply be used as crutches instead, leaving said needs being badly fulfilled.
Socializing can be hard for many people (and often, actually not fulfilling, because making connections isn't a given, and it's even more lonely to be among people without connection than to be alone).

Humans tend to follow the easy way, and the easy way is rarely the most rewarding.
 
15

I think her decision making skills are poor as she doesn't often have to make them and she protects herself from making them due to lack of confidence which is a vicious cycle

Again I understand being young and wanting to avoid social anxiety and avoid the pressure of having to worry about what adult life will entail and now kids are navigating the sea of distractions that is our modern world that didn't exist 30 years ago.
My question to you regarding the first paragraph would be if you feel she is "risk averse"?

I am more interested in her view of "sea of distractions" (as this may be a projection) PM me if you don't want to talk publicly.
 
It's nice to have green spaces.
I imagine these Japanese kids simply don't have many places to go and just wander around, what with their country being either a) megalopolis or b) inhospitable mountains
(unlike me, who can hike, tour, volunteer, etc., outside and have sort-of a sublime experience away from four walls around me).

and yeah it's funny if you want to tell kids to go outside, if most of their world facilitates the automobile lifestyle, where not a lot of care is given to something as simple as sidewalks which only serve to attract weeds and trash (from said cars).

like: "go out and do WHAT, dad? tell me..."
 
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It's nice to have green spaces.
I imagine these Japanese kids simply don't have many places to go and just wander around, what with their country being either a) megalopolis or b) inhospitable mountains
(unlike me, who can hike, tour, volunteer, etc., outside and have sort-of a sublime experience away from four walls around me).

and yeah it's funny if you want to tell kids to go outside, if most of their world facilitates the automobile lifestyle, where not a lot of care is given to something as simple as sidewalks which only serve to attract weeds and trash (from said cars).

like: "go out and do WHAT, dad? tell me..."

Japanese cities are quite walkable, or so I have heard

Urban landscapes do not have to be hostile towards pedestrians. I've lived in several places and have noticed the differences, even just within the same city.

As for why hikikomori is a Japanese phenomenon, seems to be more of a cultural thing but IMHO Japan is just at the cutting edge of a phenomenon that affects wealthy, industrialised societies in general.
 
Anyone who talks about multigenerational homes being a new thing knows nothing about history or much of the world.

That's the postmodern mind for you. Its only use for history is what it can use for politics. It has no idea what it has lost and when it arrives as wisdom, it thinks it has brought forth a new thing into the world, instead of refinding wisdom that human beings acquired through pain and error over the course of millennia. T
 
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