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Отрывок из эссе «Globalization as paradigm»

We all today live in one world. Though it was also true in every moment in the past – in the end people indwelled only one planet – now this statement is a much more relevant and adequate describing of modern situation. Of course there are many cultures, societies, languages and appearances, but in total we fare together on the Earth and share a common fate wherever each of us happens to be.

There is a consensus among scientists about the word which signifies the modern state of affairs. It’s globalization. But that’s all, because they contend with each other about content, features, history and whatever more of the subject. I don’t want to quarrel with my colleagues so I propose the new view on globalization without criticizing all others concepts of it.

This demands an explanation. First of all why do we need new theory about globalization? There is a sheer abundance of them so there is no need for one more. This is true but it is also safely to say that all of them try to describe the topic with the help of old ideas which were good enough for the past but are quite literally obliterate today. It is strange to think that our world didn’t change at all since these concepts appeared. It doesn’t mean that we must always seek for solutions ad hoc but we live in such a reality which cries for new decisions not old ones.

At second. I don’t want to overload my readers with quotations and footnotes. I understand that this is not very scientific and not honestly toward my colleagues too but this is at least better than drown in an avalanche of alien words and phrases and in an ocean of inverted commas. We need to float freely, moreover we have to dispose a room for maneuver, so an absence of references is a sheer boon, not a condemnation.

At third. Nobody, as I know, viewed globalization in the terms of paradigm. There are plenty of others concepts including economic, social, cultural, even linguistic reasons but no one surmised that this topic can be mental or relate to a cognitive sphere of human’s mind. So the novelty of my proposal demands also the new toolkit, therefore I have to build a fresh look at the subject of my interest.

And the last but not the least. Without quotations I will be able to spare much space and nerves to put my ideas more clearly and eloquent. So my text would be smaller but more unequivocal and this will enormously contribute to its transparency and understanding. Nevertheless some persons I would mention because of their importance in the light of my research. So keeping this in mind let me begin.

Many scientists today agree with one another that the ways we thought about ourselves in the past are not very good if not fully flawed at all. As it shows, for example, G. Lakoff[1] even our minds are based on our bodies and quite literally depend on them. Moreover recent researches in neurophysiology, behavior studies, nanoscience, evolution and in an armful of others domains of knowledge demonstrate that human nature is more complex and intricate that we mused yesterday. Each hour and minute we get information which totally reorganizes our representations of ourselves.

But how all of this is connected to globalization beyond concerns of the same time? Today it is widely accepted that our world precipitously changes in all possible directions. We see these transformations every day, but rarely realize that they pertain not only the ways we live, but also in dramatically great measure the ways we think about ourselves and the world around us too. Let me give an example.

Being lecturer I have possibility to ask my students about their lives and attitudes toward the reality. One of my questions concerned the technique they write their abstracts and I got the following answer. They type in any of search engines the theme and use results as their own work. Of course it is not fairy. But this method is also relevant in all others matters. If you want to gain something you wish it is very simple to just type your query and voila you pick it with the speed of light. Never this task was easier than in the modern world.

The main treasure of our times is information. It is not very important what it regards, though I don’t mean that its destructive and deleterious sort must be treated with the same respect as its constructive and wholesome form. Much more essential is how quick, relevant, accessible and of what scale it is. Having internet as a great instrument we all now can get almost every bit of data we only strive for. Never in the past we were so free in this regard.

There were very dull and grim times when I didn’t have access to internet. I had to search all what I want in old fashion, viz. to call with the help of my cell phone, to look for information in computer programs, to address to paper manuals and dictionaries. This was not only hard work but also very gruesome moments of my life. But what a problem here? In the end people were engaged in all of this stuff the most lump of their time in the past. And this is in no way a catastrophe or something like calamity. Moreover I did all of this just ten years ago and didn’t think it was a case of burden. Today I consider – and many would agree with me – that is a true trouble.

Surely, we all depend on our instruments. Eventually it is much easier, for example, to drive a car than to flee on foot. Prostheses we use in our lives do them more effortless and give us more pleasure, not to mention that they bear much more palatable and fruitful results. Nevertheless it’s no end to our story.

Modern technologies appeared relatively recently. All electronic stuff which we used now to have was invented at the farthest in 50thies years of previous century, leastways in its general gist. Of course the concrete appearance and functionality of our devices were conjured up much later. Today’s gadgets got their modern look and all their applications only ten years ago. So it may be perceived strange that I purport their transformational power which shifts the old paradigm of our mind to a new one. Howbeit it is what actually happened.

Scientific community is very rigid in relation to all changes which potentially can lead to its morphs. It is widely known that – as T.S. Kuhn wrote in his seminal work “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”[2] – old orders tend to contend new ones only to spare themselves in eternity. People are biased to stay the same even though the whole world around them became without doubt another place which demands also others attitudes, styles of thinking, behavior, minds.

Scientists are people too. They don’t want to change and leave their cozy cushions and warm beds of their theories only to realize that all what they deemed true is now false. And it is not fairly to acclaim them in just very human desire to be stable and feel comfortable. Nevertheless they are guilty in this stance. But why? In the end philistines have a right to change their mind, why not to grant the same possibility to my colleagues?

The answer is simple. Mere mortals don’t have to acknowledge that they were or are in some respect wrong. Surely they must accommodate their views to reality but in the same time they do not need to do this. Your thoughts can be false and this is in no way the world’s end. Because we all err in this or that relation. But scientists are another sort of people. They ought to be right even though pro tempora. Let me explain why.

All progress in science is in substance a refutation of old concepts and theories. You can be right only today, tomorrow it is not necessary so, because someone will find your omissions or delusions and will negate all your constructions and reasoning. Therefore you must accept that your views and knowledge are only temporally right and accommodate new data if they are more suitable to the world. Rigidity is an antithesis to a scientific scrupulosity which is the main treasure in this community.

[1]     Lakoff, G., Johnson, M. Philosophy In The Flesh: the Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. Basic Books, 1999.

[2]     Kuhn, T.S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962

 

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