I was reading this wonderful article, today, which made me realize that I'm not as open-minded and world-weary as I had thought. After travelling to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy, England, Germany, Canada (okay, that's not very far, nor very foreign, but it's a different culture) Jamaica, Costa Rica, Alaska (it seemed like a very different culture to me) and many states around the United States of America I thought that I was experienced in dealing with other cultures. I thought that my mindset was ready for a full fledged global internet.
I was wrong. No matter what was really happening, I had always thought of the internet as an American institution, and that it would always be dominated by Americans! Judging from an analysis of the ratio of Americans to the global population (estimated, of course) that assumption is clearly not realistic. Ok, enough of the non-emotionally loaded wording: My assumption was not only wrong, but was loaded with exactly the kind of arrogance, and belief of the wrong against all evidence, that I had thought was purged from my mind.
Now, a few of you may be thinking: So what? Adjust your world view, and move on! This is the fix for me, but what about the 310 million other individuals in the United States who are thinking the same thing? How are we, as the people who are already connected and thinking about the interfacing of culture on the internet, going to prevent them from burrying their heads in the sand? I don't know of an easy answer, but I think that question will be critical in the coming five years. Within that amount of time, there is no question that we, as Mr. Katz says, will be a minority on the internet.
If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear your opinion.