Following the highly successful (nobody has said otherwise to me) relaunch of Brian’s Fridays with a talk by Sam Bowman on January 25th, the last Friday of February is now approaching fast, in fact it is about as early in the month as a last Friday is capable of being, namely February 22nd. Tomorrow week, in other words. And my speaker will be my good friend and fellow Samizdatista, Michael Jennings, talking about How globalisation has made the world less rather than more homogenised. (And yes, isn’t it great that we now have author archives here?)
It will not amaze Samizdata readers to learn that Michael’s talk will be making maximum use of his impressive understanding of business and of technology, together with the fact that for as long as any of his London friends have known him he has been roaming the globe, looking at the impact of such things at first hand. Follow the above link if you doubt this, and look in particular at postings like this one, from last Christmas Eve. Many speak these days about globalisation. Michael really does know a great deal about what this process now consists of.
As I have earlier said here, one of my purposes in relaunching these evenings is to stir up more blogging than might otherwise have happened, by me and by others, both before and in response to these events. And that is now starting to happen. So far such blogging has mostly been me, but now Michael has joined in, with a couple of postings at my personal blog which are his in all but name, here and here, mentioning some of the themes he is now busy wrestling down into a forty minute talk.
The second of these two postings includes four photos, taken in Georgia, Cyprus, Tianjin (which is the fourth largest city in China), and Mumbai. He will be showing us further photos on the night. It also contains this line (under the Tianjin picture):
One could write an entire book about fake Apple Stores.
I wanted to make that today’s SQOTD, but the spot had already been taken.
What such bloggage means is that these meetings will have an impact way beyond the mere people who happen to show up on the night, in a way that was very hard to contrive with meetings of this sort in the days before the internet. As so often, when it comes to newly devised ways of communicating, the new ways don’t render the old ways obsolete. On the contrary, they make the old ways both easier to organise and more significant in their impact. Even if you don’t ever come within a thousand miles of my home, you may still benefit, albeit indirectly, from these meetings taking place.
As to the obvious way of multiplying the impact of these talks, by video-ing them, at present I am not doing this. Opinion, what I know of it, is divided on the wisdom of this decision, but my feeling is (a) that video works better when it is shorter and more visually punchy than just a person talking for half an hour or more, and (b) that there is value in at least some speaker meetings not being videoed. (If no other libertarians were videoing meetings, I probably would.) Speakers, especially the sort of younger and less experienced speakers whom I intend quite often to invite, may feel freer, in such unimortalised circumstances, to explore subjects outside their comfort zones and off the beaten tracks of the usual libertarian topics and arguments. Unvideoed meetings are a chance for people to think aloud, and perhaps attempt a talk which they will later perfect and want to have videoed, when it is good and ready.
If you would like to attend Michael’s globralisation talk, or would like information about future Brian’s Fridays, please email me (by clicking where it says “Contact”, top left, there), or leave a comment here (or there).