02 January 2006

Preserving culture: make sure to rotate your storage

Just like your food storage, some say you should rotate your culture. To be more precise, you should allow it to change. That is the opinion of Kwame Anthony Appiah, a philosophy prof. at Princeton University from Ghana. I agree with him that people and their freedoms to choose their own lifestyle are more important than so called "culture preservation." And as Appiah writes in the New York Times Magazine, it is people that are beneficiaries of globalization. Nor is it accurate to say globalization is causing homogeneity of culture --or least not an undesirable kind.

Since it is a long article, here are some of my favorite quotes (though if you are interested in the topic I suggest reading it):

Talk of cultural imperialism "structuring the consciousnesses" of those in the periphery treats people like Sipho as blank slates on which global capitalism's moving finger writes its message, leaving behind another cultural automaton as it moves on. It is deeply condescending. And it isn't true.


When we make judgments, after all, it's rarely because we have applied well-thought-out principles to a set of facts and deduced an answer. Our efforts to justify what we have done - or what we plan to do - are typically made up after the event, rationalizations of what we have decided intuitively to do. And a good deal of what we intuitively take to be right, we take to be right just because it is what we are used to. That does not mean, however, that we cannot become accustomed to doing things differently.


Cosmopolitans believe in universal truth, too, though we are less certain that we already have all of it. It is not skepticism about the very idea of truth that guides us; it is realism about how hard the truth is to find.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hum... além de ser lindo e arrasar na pista de dança vc tb é inteligente!!!
Gostei do seu blog.
Mas gostei ainda mais de vc.
Aguardando atualizações...
Beijos de sua admiradora brasileira.