Re: Creating new states

From: Robert Wasley (
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 10:44:18 MST

Robert Bradbury wrote:
> However the situation in Chechniya and the recent articles on
micro->states do point out some very interesting problems we will be facing.
>Lets say for example the GM or cloning issues turns out to be
>unresolvable. Will the only solution be for the pro-technology people to
>move to a specific location and declare independence? If so, how does >one
accomplish this. The people in Chechniya seem to provide good
> examples of how not to do it, while the people of Quebec may have
> a process that shows how it might be done.

This, I believe, is a mixing of 'atoms and bits'. Nationalism is intimately
tied to the physical. It is not enough to feel part of a group irrespective
of the physical proximity of its members. To gain a sense of fulfillment the
membership need to be collected together in physical space in order be
reaffirmed with the sights, sounds, people, and feel that comes with that
group. The classic example of course is the Jews, but they are just one of
many examples.

To some extent there could be made something of the same argument
with technology. However, technology are tools, and if it assumes some sort
of cultural expression i.e. cyberculture, it is an expression of an
underlying set of values that science and techology is the way towards human
betterment. Yet, it does not have neither the scope or depth, historically,
psychologically, or emotionally as does nationalism.

In terms of the future the worst that can happen is that technology for
whatever reason becomes the province of a small elite. Almost certain the
future will be a world that has embraced the new technologies with small
pockets of hold outs. Their reasons will vary, but this has precedence in
history. Aboriginal peoples in Austrialia when introduced to agriculture by
the English in the 18th century, well understood what it was, but choose not
to adopt it because it would mean leaving their way of life. Amish, more
orthodox Mormons, people who have always insisted on schooling their
children at home, all appeal to the past to justify their resistance to
change or pick and choose what they will or will not adopt. As a glue for
community anti technology will always be stronger than technology.

Robert Wasley

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