FWD (Got Caliche?) 'Culture Clash'

From: Terry W. Colvin (fortean1@mindspring.com)
Date: Mon Nov 05 2001 - 08:45:46 MST


< http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/stories_news/preserve_20011104.htm >
No one really knows what value the physical and digital etchings of these
trying days will ultimately have to scholars, but by the time preservationists
figure it out, it'll probably be too late. So the thinking goes: Act now;
analyze later.

< http://markets.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=
FT3HDBIBNTC&live=true&tagid=ZZZGF39D20C&subheading=US%20equities >
The data before September 11 are more like archaeology. The markets, on
the other hand, value the future. And in this case they are clearly predicting
a shallow recession of short duration. The question for investors is whether
the markets are right, or whether they are merely providing the latest
evidence of the triumph of hope over experience.

< http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/
991479973472&call_pagepath=Life/News&col=991929131147 >
Anthropologist Wade Davis sees one powerful culture expecting its own values
and ways to be acknowledged as superior by less powerful cultures. Many
North Americans implicitly assume their own society is at the front of
the trajectory of human progress, he says.

From: Brian Kenny <bkenny@global.t-bird.edu>
At the American Graduate School of International Management, global management
students (like me) were required to take a core course called "International
Political Economy" (IPE). We learned many things in the course, including
that there are major modes of thinking about the world: Nationalism, Marxism,
Liberalism, etc. The IPE class (in which we squirmed) suggested that major
modes of belief and action can persist despite highly visible macro events
(e.g., war; collapse). The macro events change the situation on the ground,
but belief systems persist within people. Because it is a global school
with students from around the world, the MBA students at Thunderbird are
taught to appreciate the various belief systems and their continuance.
These managers use their appreciation and management skill to approach
governments, corporations, and individuals, all the while assessing the
risks and benefits of international opportunity. When I visited Khobar
Saudi Arabia, recently, my friend Mohammed and I had another wide-ranging
conversation while we smoked sheesha with the guys. At one point, I sauggested
that Americans tend to think of themselves as "good guys." Mohammed responded
that Americans were "bullies." I replied that, while that sentiment probably
is "true," Americans indeed "think" and "believe" that they are good guys.
In other words, they hold a belief system about their society and its'
actions. Leaders or businessmen dealing with Americans, observing their
belief system in operation, can assess risk and benefit and plan a positive
response, a challenge, or some relationship or business offer. This is
what is occurring in Afghanistan now. The leaders of the conflict have
global world views (in some cases far beyond those of their constituents).
Risk and benefit of conflict have been assessed, and there has been a direct
challenge to a number of the relationships that exist between countries
of the Middle East and America and Europe. With war underway, we now hear
(from political pundits, journalists and individuals) about "historical
injustices" from one side, and about "justice" from the other side. Although
these sentiments are deep "truth" for believers, their restatement does
little to bring peace or promote mutual economic and social benefit...
at least for now. The deeply held beliefs and behaviors of all parties
to the conflict will persist for a long time. Airplanes crash into WTC,
and some say "Maybe, now Americans will understand." In turn, Afghanistan
becomes a killing field, and some say "Maybe now justice will be taught."
The deeply held belief systems and behaviors will not disappear suddenly
because of this war, or through reportage. However, fresh nuance may be
added to the story as a result of the quality of cessation of war. We can
only hope that shared experience (at the conclusion of the war) will lessen
hostility, and bring peace and promote mutual economic and social benefit
for these societies. Three recent news articles provide some context to
examine the macro issue of recognizing belief systems and modes of thinking.
Learning to recognize and understand belief systems and subsequent modes
of behavior can help us make better decisions about how to create shared

< http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20011105&s=klare >
There are many ways to view the conflict: as a contest between Western
liberalism and Eastern fanaticism; as a struggle between the defenders
and the enemies of authentic Islam; and as a predictable backlash against
American villainy abroad. While useful in assessing some dimensions of
the conflict, these cultural and political analyses obscure reality: this
war, like most wars, is firmly rooted in geopolitical competition.

< http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/news/story.html?in_review_id=470207&
in_review_text_id=423999 >
America's 17th century English Puritans were fundamentalist bigots too.
They preached a deeply undemocratic doctrine of the elect and the damned,
the elect being primarily those who wielded theocratic power. They massacred
"heathen" Indians, and like many Muslims today they were keen on sexual
prohibition, worried sick about the length of men's hair and over-exposed
women. But there any parallel with the Muslim world stops. The road from
religious fundamentalism to prosperity and the beginnings of modern American
democracy was remarkably short.

< http://www.linguafranca.com/print/0111/cover.html >
Practitioners of the new field of world history have begun to sidestep
or ignore questions such as hegemony and resentment in favor of what Kenneth
Pomeranz calls "reciprocal comparisons." This approach is on the verge
of entering the mainstream of the American historical profession.

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1@mindspring.com >
     Alternate: < terry_colvin@hotmail.com >
Home Page: < http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/8958/index.html >
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