Saturday, November 1, 2008

Is it really a small world afterall?

Contemporary thought creates a rosy outlook that the pervasive nature of connectivity will eventually serve to globalize human interaction. As nations and people are brought into the ever growing exchange, cultural divisions will be ameliorated and global issues will disappear under the prodigious weight of increased understanding. What this perspective fails to address are the cultural peculiarities found within discrete human populations. While human needs and motivations remain constant throughout the world, behavioral expectations can vary considerably even in places where everyone communicates in the same language.

In some instances, members who find their activities proscribed in some forums seek other arenas where those behaviors are not prohibited or the locals are not organized enough to deflect the intrusion. At other times assertive newcomers or old timers with new identities, may attempt to force their will on the forum via virtual coups or disruption lasting for long periods of time. Not only do the locals lack the ability to assimilate the context, the are unable to self-regulate the content. This can end up as a takeover of the forum as the original members are overwhelmed by sheer numbers or by something outside their understanding.

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