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Global vs. local action (and socializing)

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 33 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
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I've always been more fond of global action, through the internet of course (I wouldn't know any other effective way). From the start, as I was learning about the potential of internet, the idea was to start something in english that most people in the world would understand, something which would have a world wide, global reach.

In my head at the time, that seemed to guarantee more chances of success and more potential for making it really big. If I were to make it only in Croatia and work only within the boundaries of this country, I thought, I couldn't do as much and I couldn't succeed as much. I really like the prospect of reaching people in the world far and wide.

These days, however, I'm realizing that even locally, there is a lot of success potential for any venture. Having even only a million people online to try to reach is still a lot. Despite going global, it's hard to ever reach that kind of exposure anyway so the success potential differences seem negligible. There are even some advantages, like being able to advertise offline, actually meet people live more easily about your project specifically and if you have greater chances of being unique or "first" in doing something in your country, which could eventually result in some local media exposure.

Of course, going global has some advantages too, such as gaining more insights into how the things work outside of our country, having a much larger pool of people who you could attract and, well, cultivating the skill of speaking english. Eye

But what really drives me towards pondering this question is this. I sometimes watch or read or see something that I feel for, and wish I could do something about it, and it always results in something that is said/done on a general, global basis. Basically, it seems logical that if you want to change something in the world you start with what is immediately in your surroundings, that being your city and your country, because that is what has the most potential effect. Yet when I just go and try to influence some sort of a change in english and on an international site, it barely touches my locality.

So how do I justify that? On one hand I could say that starting from the above described assumptions and hence going globally from the start made it into a habit and a default behaviour to always go globally, which subsequently made me rather dormant on a local scene. On the other hand, but probably clapping into the first one, it may also have something to do with a "comfort zone" of some sort.. which I seems to fit me rather nicely. It's easy to just sit there and think, type, bring the sites online, organize stuff, all from the comfort of my home, with no need to really go outside and meet people face to face to do anything. It makes it easy to lose sight of any compelling reason to do anything face-to-face in fact...

I wonder what your opinions are?

To be honest, this only partly has something to do with my lack of socializing, I think, which I'm aware of for some time and believe I can start changing in some healthy way, but more due to my general personal growth than making my work more "local". Basically it means hanging out with people offline more, but not necessarily in relation with what I do online, not directly tied to that. I wonder if that's enough? The thing is I have this wariness in me... about some offline hanging... all of the "making of a conversation", automatically laughing at unimportant jokes, drinking socially and all of those niceties which seem to go with offline "hanging" and even when work related - just repels me. Mind you, it's different if I'm actually going out *just* to have fun (like parties), but if that's not why I'm going out, then I'd rather skip the niceties - yet that seems impossible.

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monserrat's picture
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Local is Global, and Global is Local

Dear Danijel,

There is no contradition or opposition in participating in global and local activities, they can be complementary. And I guess it's much better and we do both consciously as complementary actions, local activities helping the broader ones, and at the same time global action contributing in thousands of local works, jobs, actions, activities, etc.

By the way, the free software cooperative I helped to organise last year (TecnoLivre) here in Lavras, a small city in the country area of Brazil, is going very well and now getting more and more projects (and money!). The last one was of more or less 15 thousands Euros. I'd never suppose to make it in a so short time! :-)

In the same way, several actions in talkings, short courses, speeches, work, local actions are very important for greater and more ambitious activities like a regional or a national Conferences or Forum, etc. And at the same time the bigest actions are always very much in need of all and uncountable small actions.

Well, let me stop before bothering you too much! :-D

See you, Rijik.

User offline. Last seen 7 years 7 weeks ago. Offline
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This reminds me of the play

If you see a local oppertunity to build a business go for it, then you can franchise it or if it's an online facility localise it to other countries. Once you've got spare production capacity it opens doors to all the other projects.

The social small talk issue reminds me of the play "on the Piste", where one character commented about another "too much in the head and not enough in the body". I used to over-rate the roles of intelligence and big issues at the expense of emotion and the moment.

Yesterday I had the choice of staying alone in my place coding/participating online, or meeting my family for brunch, I did the latter and am the better for it. No big issues were solved and the work is behind where it could have been. But seeing how the rest of the family are getting on, being there to listen, and having some light-hearted banter are the simple things that make relationships work, and what can be more important?

We've heard accounts of great people revered by society for their contribution, only to hear another story from their spouse and children, one of neglect. That's an extreme example to highlight the no-go area. Generally speaking, healthy relationships give us emotional fulfillment in our lives, neglect those and we neglect all parties including ourselves.

Libervis et al is all about making the world a better place, we're way above the norm in our commitments. It may sound contradictory, but do we exercise our humanity enough? I'm not questioning quantity, but the quality which comes from diversity.

In our fast-paced prosperous celtic tiger, immigrants working in retail look surprised when you smile and exchange a few friendly words. That sense of social connection was the default when I was younger but now it's the exception. On those occasions I go on holiday, I always learn how to say at least these three things in the local language: excuse me, please, and thank you. Body language is universal and when you give your feelings direct access to your facial muscles, people see that you mean what you say and things go so much more smoothly and enjoyably.

I found that difficult when I started this aspect of self-improvement, my busy mind was always filtering and trying to present a mask. The justification was fearing saying something stupid or offending someone, but really I had imposed a dual personality that resulted in sour attempts at smiles betrayed by calculating eyes, immediately detected by the other person and making them uneasy. It dawned on me that I had nothing to hide, I am not some ogre but the opposite, all I had to do was relax and be honest, as the good Captain said about the test of humanity set by Q - "If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we are".

That smooth uninterrupted inner flow paved the way for practicing some Dale Carnegie methods, take a genuine interest in others, ask about their interests, be honest yet tactful, give them a calm friendly space to answer, it's quickly apparent which things they feel comfortable talking about. Nowadays I'm known for being able to have a conversation with anyone about anything so long as they're not relentlessly guarded, but I don't do it to prove some point to myself or others. It's about fulfilling my duty to be the best member of society I can be, and maximising the quality of an unknown quantity of minutes in my life. I like to feel truly connected, so I connect, I get so much more out of honest conversation with people I've just met than I could ever get out of years of polite small-talk. The biggest revelation was not any story told, but the fact that people light up at the chance for honest conversation, it's getting awfully scarce in meatspace.

I think you're right to focus on face to face interaction, if you up your game there's a big win-win for you and those you meet, you've a natural gift for taking an interest in all sorts of things and are brimming with passion. But could you be perhaps over intense when you're out socialising? It seems to me that if you are relaxed and in the moment with no big issues intruding, a lot more of those silly jokes would make you laugh, it's a great relief for the body to give serious a rest and let silly have a quick run when the collective mood swings that way, I'd go so far as to say if a person can't be silly at times they're in a bad place. Of course those views are probably somewhat subjective projections based on my own persona, we're all different and there's no one size fits all prescription. I guess you'll find the balance that works for you.

memenode's picture
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democrates wrote: If you
democrates wrote:

If you see a local oppertunity to build a business go for it, then you can franchise it or if it's an online facility localise it to other countries. Once you've got spare production capacity it opens doors to all the other projects.

Seems to me like that goes both ways. Smiling I started globally and now I have "spare production capacity" to various other kinds of projects, local or global, albeit still mostly online.

I guess neither way is a wrong way to start.

democrates wrote:

The social small talk issue reminds me of the play "on the Piste", where one character commented about another "too much in the head and not enough in the body". I used to over-rate the roles of intelligence and big issues at the expense of emotion and the moment.

The question is, what it means to be more "in the body" and when and how can "emotion and the moment" happen. I know what you mean here, considering the context is "social small talk". It is about emotions and moments that such small talk can induce, but I wonder if small talk is the only way or at least, if the considered "normal" way of engaging in interaction with other humans is really the only and best one for everyone.

democrates wrote:

Yesterday I had the choice of staying alone in my place coding/participating online, or meeting my family for brunch, I did the latter and am the better for it. No big issues were solved and the work is behind where it could have been. But seeing how the rest of the family are getting on, being there to listen, and having some light-hearted banter are the simple things that make relationships work, and what can be more important?

Speaking for myself, I don't actually have issues with my family and the light hearted banter within my family. We understand each other well and I have and usually am willing to dedicate some time to just being with them too. It may indicate that I simply have a certain threshold for other people, when it comes to face2face interaction, which my family obviously long crossed, but others rarely do.

It is not that I am incapable of social small talk, banter and general silliness for the sake of relaxation or entertainment. Besides doing it in family, where I can make it most genuine, I occasionally go out to parties where I can also "go-crazy" so to speak. What I do find irritating are situations in which I seem to need to fake such state in order to "fit in" or just get close enough for anyone to come near that threshold.

And then I begin to question, what's the point? If I have to fake anything to befriend someone then that someone isn't necessarily best candidate for such friendships.

The reason I get much better along online is hence obvious. There is not that much faking that needs to happen, and the pool is broad. And there are no prejudice inducing barriers to cross. Minds can connect freely because what they can focus on communicating only what they think and to a point feel, without being consistently obstructed by the simultaneous analysis of the visual representation (or body language) of the one they communicate with.

It may seem unhuman of me or it may in some sense seem transhuman, but the social norms that our societies bred pretty much managed to disrupt an otherwise pleasant interaction between humans with stupid prejudices and protocols that everybody must adhere to in order to be accepted. And if you don't, you are an outcast.

With that said I actually wonder if I should really submit to such norms and protocols and assimilate myself or seek the rare others who despise them as well in order to interact with them instead. Might save me a lot of energy and redundancy - not to mention help preserve the ways which make me unique, for if I assimilate chances are I too will appreciate the norms I previously disliked and wanted to change.

Questions this leads to:

Is it human or is it not human?

Is it right or wrong?

Which of the two questions are more important?

I believe it is the second one. It is right for humans to evolve. Some may say all of the "normal" social protocols, even when disrupting the freer way of interacting are just "human" and hence "the right thing". But if we assume that defining what human is is an ongoing process, not a concluded one, that we should evolve and rectify what we believe isn't just right, then assimilation is out of the question - in fact a wrong thing to do.

Someone reading this might say I'm just putting a lot of philosophical mumbo jumbo at the problem instead of facing it head on - basically rationalizing being my way of avoiding problems. But.. (continuing below)

democrates wrote:

I think you're right to focus on face to face interaction, if you up your game there's a big win-win for you and those you meet, you've a natural gift for taking an interest in all sorts of things and are brimming with passion. But could you be perhaps over intense when you're out socialising? It seems to me that if you are relaxed and in the moment with no big issues intruding, a lot more of those silly jokes would make you laugh, it's a great relief for the body to give serious a rest and let silly have a quick run when the collective mood swings that way, I'd go so far as to say if a person can't be silly at times they're in a bad place. Of course those views are probably somewhat subjective projections based on my own persona, we're all different and there's no one size fits all prescription. I guess you'll find the balance that works for you.

.. you may have said some of the key things here, especially the last one.

The perfect balance between social assimilation and being who you really are, being different as you say, can only be one in which social assimilation wont oppress who you really are. It may have an effect, of course, but it should not be forced. The world ought to be viewed from inside out, not outside in. Everything begins with us. If we lose ourselves trying to fit in, who are we trying to fit in if we lost ourselves???

So perhaps I should strive what may be obvious issues that can be fixed without losing myself for it, like perhaps the general tension that comes with meeting new people. But I don't think I'll ever fit in exactly right. I will search for people who are similar to me and who have similar objections to how socializing is done nowadays. I'm sure there are such people out there.

But I wont lose myself for the sake of fitting in, even if that means not fitting in anywhere.

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memenode's picture
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OK... I might have to

OK... I might have to re-think some of the things I said up there. I still strongly believe in the principle of not fitting in for the sake of conformism instead of being who you are or want to be, but I'm not entirely sure that what's been keeping me wary of offline socializing was always some bad social interaction protocols. I could only vaguely say that there are some, among people who are really closed minded and quickly prejudiced, but then I guess people who are familiar and supportive of Free Culture wouldn't be, yet I have a tendency of avoiding even them offline.. Not sure.

Basically it goes like this:

Being social and casual to family members: Good to great!
Being social and casual with almost anyone online: Great!
Being social and casual with total strangers on the streets (when shopping, for example): OK.
Being social and casual with almost-strangers I could be getting to know (and which may even have something in common with me): It works while it lasts, but in retrospective it doesn't seem compelling enough to make me go back, so there always seems to be something more important than that.

Meh. See where I fail in all its glory. Laughing out loud

Cheers

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memenode's picture
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You're not a bother. It's

You're not a bother. It's great to see you here. Smiling

That local and global work is complementary makes a lot of sense actually. Which will be done more depends, I suppose, on which could do more good or which is the doer more capable or interested in doing..

It's great to see your cooperative so successful! I hope this year it achieves even more, which it seems well set to do. Smiling

monserrat wrote:

And at the same time the bigest actions are always very much in need of all and uncountable small actions.

Indeed. Though even solely global undertaking could count many smaller actions building up to it... I mean, it's enough to put up a web site in english and you're already essentially "global".. yet there's a lot more to do to get a substantial amount of attention, and doing those things means doing quite a few small steps. Smiling

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libervisco wrote:Being
libervisco wrote:

Being social and casual with almost-strangers I could be getting to know (and which may even have something in common with me): It works while it lasts, but in retrospective it doesn't seem compelling enough to make me go back, so there always seems to be something more important than that.

Actually "on mature recollection" I haven't been fully honest above, because a few times I get bored with a conversation and interjected with "that reminds me..." turning to bring others in and changed the subject. Forgot about that since I was so busy analysing the times it all works out, talk about rose-tinted. You're right, we all have our limits.

Thinking back to the confrontation with doctors I brought that alcoholic to a few weeks back, I'm still prone in certain circumstances to utter harsh words. The general danger is that harsh words could lead to harsh acts, so maybe small-talk is at times more than politeness for its own sake, but a safety mechanism to avoid a descent into violence when very different or opposing people cross paths.

I suppose birds of a feather flock together is the truism when I consider the crew I tend to meet socially each week. Lots have come and gone, the only ones who tend to keep turning up are all capable of interesting conversations (except me, I just do bird impressions). Those events repel people who are either shallow or not willing or able to chirp in with deeper ideas. They end up sitting in silence while the big debate rages, then they don't come back.

Social drinking is endemic in Ireland, and though I keep it to one night a week I couldn't stand it if there was too much small talk. Now that would be a waste of the minutes of my life, and there are far more interesting and important things to do. Thank God I'm not an alcoholic. I've heard the most important thing is sincerity, if you can fake that you've got it made :-)

memenode's picture
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democrates wrote: The
democrates wrote:

The general danger is that harsh words could lead to harsh acts, so maybe small-talk is at times more than politeness for its own sake, but a safety mechanism to avoid a descent into violence when very different or opposing people cross paths.

That's a good point. I guess if all else fails, small talk can keep up the positive spirit.. But then again it seems like it'd be best not to come to the point of having to use small talk to save us from that. Laughing out loud Oh well..

democrates wrote:

I suppose birds of a feather flock together is the truism when I consider the crew I tend to meet socially each week. Lots have come and gone, the only ones who tend to keep turning up are all capable of interesting conversations (except me, I just do bird impressions). Those events repel people who are either shallow or not willing or able to chirp in with deeper ideas. They end up sitting in silence while the big debate rages, then they don't come back.

Indeed. I would really love to get to the point of having such friends offline too. So far I have friends online with which I can debate for hours. I guess I have to work on it.

Interestingly, now social networks come to mind as something of value. I could use a local social network as a pathway to those kinds of people I would love to socialize with. The good thing about social networks is that they're not just "dating sites" of that classic type, but can serve for any purpose that requires finding someone new as a friend (or..a girlfriend. Smiling ). I guess social networks might not be such a waste of time after all.. But it wouldn't make much sense to go on the global ones if the goal is finding someone to meet offline.. I already know where I have to look. Laughing out loud

Well.. I am sort of in a middle of the personal improvement process so I will work on this too.. If I get better at socializing chances are I'll perhaps at some point create an opportunity to do a project of some kind on the local scale..

democrates wrote:

Social drinking is endemic in Ireland, and though I keep it to one night a week I couldn't stand it if there was too much small talk. Now that would be a waste of the minutes of my life, and there are far more interesting and important things to do.

It seems to be endemic in the whole western world actually, not that I travelled a lot to see. It's just that the saying "free as in freedom not free beer" kinda gives it all away. Why does it have to be free *beer*? Why not free tea or something? Laughing out loud It doesn't fit in culturally that well I guess, which is a dead give away.

Anyway I don't mind it so much, but I wouldn't want to do it more than once a week at most, that once being saturday night. Sticking out tongue

democrates wrote:

I've heard the most important thing is sincerity, if you can fake that you've got it made Smiling

Quote of the day! Laughing out loud

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