The first term came from this TED talk, by Ethan Zuckerman, about how most of us think that we have an idea of how the world is going...because we are online, and we consume elite media, and we're highly educated.
When in actuality, we cruise with our flock and make very little effort to listen to other flocks. "Imaginary cosmopolitanism" hit me hard, because I thought I was making an effort. I've gotten to travel to other hemispheres and continents. My family has traveled more. I read food blogs from other countries. I like "world music". I've taken African dance courses, and studied hot-weather architecture. But sitting down and thinking about it, I'm not doing as well as I'd like.
I want to participate in what Seth Godin calls "the big sort" (not this The Big Sort, though interestingly that's the same notion that Ethan Zuckerman is after). I want to arm myself with as much knowledge as I can to do so. I want to be as useful as possible. I want to be in demand, so that I can in turn give back. What do I need to do?
Ideas? So far I can think of:
- Learn Chinese, being that that's the majority upcoming consumer language. Or find out who is doing lots of data gathering, and learn that language. Quibbles: In what industry? Energy production?* Transportation? Do I want to be on the push end (the people who know how), or the pull end (the people who need it)? Which is which?
- Obviously, learn the ways and means of crunching and re-presenting the data - back to Super Crunchers, Tim Ferriss, SQL, et al.
What do you think?
*I've already decided dealing with the consuming end is pushing on the end of a rope.