lunedì 5 dicembre 2016

3 Ethos and the Tragedy of Cultural Loss - Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures by Tyler Cowen

Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures by Tyler Cowen
You have 188 highlighted passages
You have 71 notes
Last annotated on December 4, 2016
3 Ethos and the Tragedy of Cultural LossRead more at location 815
Note: 3@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
power of wealth and technologyRead more at location 817
games of the National Basketball Association can be seen in over 100 countries,Read more at location 817
Toyotas can be bought in 151 countries,Read more at location 818
CocaCola can be purchased in 185 countries.Read more at location 818
despite this significant upside we cannot help but feel that something cultural is lostRead more at location 822
cross-cultural contact damages ethosRead more at location 823
we cannot understand freedom without tragedy.Read more at location 825
the link between cultural creativity and cultural corruption.Read more at location 827
By ethos I mean the special feel or flavor of a culture.Read more at location 827
implicit language for creating or viewing art.Read more at location 829
Note: ETHOS Edit
may consist of societal self-confidence,Read more at location 830
generated by collective adherenceRead more at location 830
Hippolyte TaineRead more at location 832
“the general state of mind and surrounding circumstances.” The German words Weltanschauung (way of looking at the world) and Zeitgeist (spirit of the times) express the notion more precisely than any English language equivalent.Read more at location 832
Note: x DEF Edit
Historical environment helped breed strength and confidence in the music of Beethoven and Chopin, grit and messianic fervor in Jamaican reggae, and nobility and grandeur in the paintings of the Florentine Renaissance.Read more at location 835
The educated viewer or listener has little trouble recognizingRead more at location 837
Renaissance paintingRead more at location 837
music as Jamaican,Read more at location 838
CreatorsRead more at location 839
commonality of style.Read more at location 839
They have had the same teachers, seen the same images, and grown up in the same environment.Read more at location 839
Note: x ARTISTA Edit
communicate an aesthetic sensibility that is “in tune” with their customers,Read more at location 842
process of cumulative feedback.Read more at location 843
ethos does not require unanimity of opinion.Read more at location 844
British youth culture of the 1960s consisted of the clash between “Mods” and “Rockers.” These two groups disagreed about a common set of questions in a common framework,Read more at location 844
In economic language,Read more at location 847
interdependenceRead more at location 847
“network effect”Read more at location 848
like the concept of “paradigm” in the philosophy of science.Read more at location 851
A favorable ethos can help relatively small groups achieve cultural miracles.Read more at location 854
Classical Periclean Athens had fewer than two-hundred thousand residents (and even fewer free citizens), according to best estimates, but its creative accomplishments in philosophy, poetry, history, drama, and politics remain nonpareil. The Athenians were not genetically superior to the moderns, but their age offered a favorable moral temperament for bold and creative thinking.Read more at location 854
Note: x ATENE Edit
The population of Renaissance Florence did not typically exceed eighty thousand and at times fell well below that figure. To put the Florentine achievement in proper perspective with regard to population, consider that in 1984 approximately thirty-five thousand painters, sculptors, potters, and art historians graduated from American art schools.Read more at location 858
Note: x ALTRO ES Edit
the Florentine environment emphasized the wonders of art in complementary civic, humanistic, and religious dimensions.4 The Florentines also identified with their city as a creative center, rather than as a military power or as part of an empire.Read more at location 861
Note: c Edit
Most significantly, the Florentines saw art as important,Read more at location 864
Note: c Edit
importance of ethos is universal to culture, and is not restricted to the West.Read more at location 866
Haitian voodoo art, Hong Kong action cinema, and Cuban dance music, among many other artistic examples, all draw a special feel from their home cultures.Read more at location 866
Note: x ESEMPI Edit
Fragility and the Problems of Ethos Ethos makes globalization a nontrivial problem for culture.Read more at location 869
more knowledge does not necessarily result in cultureRead more at location 874
artists can lose their creativity in certain genres if they learn too much about other approaches.Read more at location 878
Beck,Read more at location 879
“You can’t write a pure country song any more. You can’t write a pure Appalachian ballad. Because we live in a world where we’ve all heard speed-metal, we’ve all heard drum and-bass, we’ve all heard old-school hip-hop. Even if you’re not influenced by it, or you’re not using elements of it, they’re in your mind.”Read more at location 879
Note: x BECK Edit
Before the widespread advent of recordingRead more at location 882
different parts of Europe had their own schools of classical conducting, violin playing, and pianism, each with a recognizable sound.Read more at location 882
classical musicians sound alike, albeit at a very high levelRead more at location 884
Note: OGGI Edit
brought the initially disparate musical visions closer together.Read more at location 885
HegelRead more at location 890
he described irony as the death of art,Read more at location 890
irony could sap the heroic temperamentRead more at location 891
most modern American artists cannot portray “the grandeur of Christ”Read more at location 892
medieval or Renaissance painters could.Read more at location 893
Unlike many forms of technical knowledge, artistic capabilities cannot be transferred easily to other eras or to other societies.Read more at location 894
The Navajo, despite their formidable weaving talents, cannot produce a first-rate Amish quilt.Read more at location 895
Note: x ES Edit
it would be difficult to make a Persian carpet as spectacular as the best Safavid works from the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries.Read more at location 899
Note: x ES Edit
modern day Iran no longer has the same cultural self-confidence and does not hold the same relative place in the world order.Read more at location 901
Note: c Edit
more knowledge does not expand our opportunitiesRead more at location 905
growth brings a trade-off between one set of styles and another.Read more at location 905
Retrogression in production is not only possible, it is common and significant.Read more at location 907
negative technology shock” often consists of acquiring knowledge, not losing it.Read more at location 913
isolation can inject self-confidenceRead more at location 914
Art and creative power, to some extent, rest on illusionRead more at location 920
If the voodoo religion of Haiti were definitively revealed to be untrue to all Haitians, Haitian art would be much poorer for it.Read more at location 920
Note: x ES Edit
false consciousness is a wellspring of human creativity.Read more at location 923
smaller culture would prefer to receive the benefits of trade but keep out the ethosRead more at location 931
North Americans would be worse off if the Inuit lost their ability to produce their unique sculptures,Read more at location 937
causes of ethos-disruption are often consumer-driven,Read more at location 940
Many Kingston workers want to eat at McDonald’s,Read more at location 941
Jamaican society may become less unique.Read more at location 942
The Minerva ModelRead more at location 945
Note: T Edit
The initial meeting of cultures produces a creative boom, as individuals trade materials, technologies, and ideas. Often the materially wealthier culture provides financial support for the creations of the poorer culture, while the native aesthetic and ethos remains largely intact. For a while we have the best of both worlds from a cultural point of view. The core of the poorer or smaller culture remains intact, while it benefits from trade. Overtime, however, the larger or wealthier culture upsets the balance of forces that ruled in the smaller or poorer culture. The poorer culture begins to direct its outputs towards the tastes of the richer culture. Communication with the outside world makes the prevailing ethos less distinct. The smaller culture “forgets” how to make the high-quality goods it once specialized in, and we observe cultural decline.Read more at location 948
cultural brilliance instead, which in this context occurs just when a particular culture is starting its decline.Read more at location 958
Hawaiian Islands, rather than withering immediately with foreign contact, blossomed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The combination of Pacific, American, Japanese, and Chinese influences created a fertile creative environment. In music Hawaiian performers have been seminal influences behind the development of country and western, pedal steel guitar, blues, jazz, and fingerpicking guitar styles, as well as modern “lounge” music. In each case the Hawaiians innovated within established Western forms, or relied partly on Western inspiration. The Hawaiian steel guitar, for instance, was invented by a Czech immigrant living in California.Read more at location 960
Note: x ES HAWAI Edit
This fertile period for Hawaiian culture, however, did not last forever. American dominance of the island—in cultural, economic, and political terms—was only a matter of time.Read more at location 966
Note: c Edit
Hawaiian culture has since dwindled precipitously, having been swamped by the greater numbers and wealth of mainland Americans and Asians.Read more at location 968
Note: c Edit
modernity destroys so many cultural communities only by creating so many in the first place.Read more at location 972
Minerva model applies most frequently when gains from trade are based on a severe cultural imbalance.Read more at location 975
American Indian arts and crafts flourished until shortly before their (temporary) collapse early in the twentieth century.Read more at location 976
arts of the Plains Indians used European crayons, pencils, clothes, metals, bright paint-pigments, papers, dyed-wool yarns, mirrors, bells, brass tacks, and glass beads.Read more at location 977
Note: c Edit
Indian totem poles became common in the middle of the nineteenth century when the Northwest fur trade brought new wealth to Indian communities.Read more at location 981
Note: c Edit
Across North America, trade relations gave an unprecedented boost to Indian artistic productionRead more at location 984
Note: c Edit
This was exactly when the North American Indian cultures, viewed more broadly as a way of life, were declining precipitously.Read more at location 985
Note: c Edit
Andean weaving boomed during the early years of contact with Europeans. On the demand side, some of the Spaniards recognized that Andean textiles were of very high quality and bought them eagerly, thus stimulating production. On the supply side, the Andean weavers drew upon new materials, styles, and ideas.Read more at location 987
Note: x ANDE Edit
Until the Spanish toll on the Andean societies became decisively high and destroyed their social infrastructure, the cross-cultural contact proved fruitful for the textile arts.Read more at location 992
Note: c Edit
By accepting the eventual decline of the culture, we also are mobilizing its creative forces to unprecedented levels,Read more at location 994
we should not measure failure by the number of declining cultures.Read more at location 996
too quickly conclude that an observed decline suggests a problem.Read more at location 997
The absence of decline might reflect a world that attained less diversityRead more at location 998
declining artistic genres might be a symptom of cultural wealthRead more at location 999
almost all of today’s disappearing cultures evolved out of earlier processes of remixing and “cashing in” of cultures.Read more at location 1000
In reality today’s so-called indigenous cultures are regroupings, yesterday’s remixed version of previous cultural expansions.Read more at location 1003
Trade and EthosRead more at location 1005
the successful development of an ethos relies on trade as well as on isolation.Read more at location 1007
It is no accident that Classical civilization developed in the Mediterranean, where cultures used sea transport to tradeRead more at location 1008
Trade relations spread the spirit of learningRead more at location 1009
northern France, the Low Countries, and Italy.Read more at location 1009
mobility of scholars, painters, manuscripts, and scientific ideas gave birth to the Renaissance.Read more at location 1010
Virtually every ethos owes its existence to cross-cultural contact in some form or another.Read more at location 1011
popular music of the Cape VerdeRead more at location 1013
Partial isolation has allowed a unique styleRead more at location 1014
Cape Verdean way of life, is explicitly synthetic in nature, mixing Portuguese, African, Brazilian, and other influences.Read more at location 1014
If not for maritime trade, including the lucrative slave trade, the islands would not have been settled.Read more at location 1015
The Jamaican musical ethos did not take off until African-American rhythm and blues were imported.Read more at location 1017
Jamaican listeners picked up rhythm-and-blues broadcasts from New Orleans and Miami radio during the 1950s.Louis Jordan, Fats Domino, Shirley and Lee, Bill Doggett, Roscoe Gordon, Ernie Freeman, and Chuck Berry were especially popular in Jamaica.Read more at location 1019
Note: x GIAMAICA Edit
The Importance of Size and Critical MassRead more at location 1042
Note: T Edit
When trying to sustain an independent ethos, cultures face a problem of critical mass.Read more at location 1043
No single individual, acting on his or her own, can produce an ethos.Read more at location 1044
produced meaning may require some degree of insulationRead more at location 1045
Inuit maintain their own ethos, even though they number no more than twenty-four thousand.Read more at location 1046
If cross-cultural contact were to become sufficiently close, the Inuit ethos would disappear.Read more at location 1048
Distinct cultural groups of similar size do not, in the long run, persist in downtown Toronto,Read more at location 1048
contemporary critics charge that travelers corrupt the places they visit,Read more at location 1052
English now are accused of ruining Italy, rather than being ruined by Italy.Read more at location 1053
In 1990 the Bahamas received fourteen tourists for each native,Read more at location 1054
The larger society usually possesses a greater resiliency to external shocksRead more at location 1058
diversity within a large society increases the chance that some of its parts will respond flexibly and creatively to foreign influence, even if other parts are corrupted.Read more at location 1059
Brazil, America, and Canada are essentially nations of voluntary or forced immigrants, and therefore have developed infrastructures to mediate foreign elements.Read more at location 1066
greater public acceptance of inequalityRead more at location 1068
political tolerance,Read more at location 1068
“myths” that favor or enable change,Read more at location 1069
such as the American notion of the “melting pot”Read more at location 1069
Polynesian self-confidence and creativity were damaged by European colonialismRead more at location 1086
This should not come as a total surprise, given the numbers involved:Read more at location 1087
Europeans did much of their damage by cutting off cross-cultural contact amongst the Polynesians themselves.Read more at location 1089
The critical mass behind precolonial Polynesian culture operated across great distances of time and space and was formed over centuries of cross-cultural trade. Advanced seafaring technologies allowed the Polynesians to develop cultures more sophisticated than the population of any single island could support.Read more at location 1090
globalization tends to encourage large, internally diverse polities, rather than small, unique ones.Read more at location 1097
Note: RETE Edit
cultural entities that survive tend to be large but to have complex and diverse inner workings.Read more at location 1099
evolution of languages reflects similar trendsRead more at location 1100
modernization reduces the number of global languages,Read more at location 1101
half of the world’s six thousand languages are likely to dieRead more at location 1102
We should not conclude, however, that linguistic diversity is decreasingRead more at location 1103
Each surviving language offers greater richness than before.Read more at location 1103
English has more words than ever before,Read more at location 1104
local versions of English are continuing to evolve in India, the Caribbean, and many other places.Read more at location 1105
great differences between languages is becoming smaller,Read more at location 1107
each language contains more diversityRead more at location 1107
printing press,Read more at location 1108
Note: T Edit
similarly complex effects on diversity.Read more at location 1108
In the early days of the printing press, it was widely believed that it would ensure the dominance of Latin at the expense of local European dialects. This prediction was not confirmed. Instead, the printing press helped establish numerous national languages as viable intellectual and literary competitors to Latin.Read more at location 1109
Each of these languages developed into a far richer and more diverse medium of expression,Read more at location 1111
Note: c Edit
Ethos, Broad and NarrowRead more at location 1114
Note: T Edit
The Minerva scenario does not unambiguously destroy ethos but, rather, changes the nature of ethos.Read more at location 1115
Previous ethoses move closer together, and therefore cease to make artistic production distinct in varying locales.Read more at location 1116
replaced, however, by a greater number of partial or niche ethoses.Read more at location 1117
tribal religions, embrace and cover virtually all aspects of life, including family life, sex, art, and village social structure.Read more at location 1119
football fandom, or teenage “rave culture” of the late 1980s and 1990s are a few examples of ethos in the narrower and more modest sense.Read more at location 1121
broad ethosRead more at location 1123
narrow ethos,Read more at location 1123
The same processes that limitRead more at location 1124
Note: ........ Edit
also stimulateRead more at location 1124
more diverse, more diffuse, and less all-embracing.Read more at location 1125
The spread of newspapers, books, and magazines did much to weaken American cultural regionalism. The information and ideas available in Arkansas, for example, no longer differed so drastically from what was available in New Hampshire. This was a homogenizing tendency. At the same time, the communication of information across space allowed for the mobilization of new constituencies—not geographically centered—with unique outlooks in niche areas of culture. To provide an example, the science fiction revolution of the mid-twentieth century would not have been possible without national networks for publishing and distribution.Read more at location 1126
The spread of science fiction helped shape a core of readers and writers with common presuppositions and concerns. Science fiction readers hardly agree on all matters, but they are more likely to ponder the importance of space travel, robots, and contact with nonhuman cultures.Read more at location 1133
Note: C Edit
many of the films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are unimaginable without this background.Read more at location 1135
Note: C Edit
Nor do science fiction fans share an entire and unique worldview in the same way that members of a tribe in Papua New Guinea might. The science fiction ethos applies to one or a few spheres of life,Read more at location 1137
Note: c Edit
small, partial cultural communities are typically independent of geography,Read more at location 1142
The Internet,Read more at location 1144
Note: .... Edit
is well suited for the mobilization and discovery of narrow ethosesRead more at location 1144
brings together fans who live in different parts of the world,Read more at location 1145
Homogenization implies a pool of customers who receive common information from common outside sources, whether it be newspapers, television, or the Internet. Once these individuals have been brought into a common pool with well-developed means of communication, however, they sort themselves into more finely grained and more diverse groups.Read more at location 1147
trendRead more at location 1151
Note: .... Edit
can coexistRead more at location 1151
heterogenization and homogenization are complementaryRead more at location 1152
Counterintuitively, modern diversity relies on homogenizingRead more at location 1154
contemporary phenomenon of “ethnic revival” does not militate against these trends,Read more at location 1155
many smaller cultures appear to be undergoing a resurgence.Read more at location 1156
Some dying languages, such as Welsh, Basque, and Yiddish, are attracting new interest.Read more at location 1157
Ethnically based secession movements have gained in strength in many quarters.Read more at location 1158
The developments are new ethoses of a narrow kind, rather than a return towards older,Read more at location 1159
Western and universalistic perspectives continue to permeate these groupsRead more at location 1161
these groups no longer hold a distinct ethos as an all-embracing totality.Read more at location 1162
Modernity continues to diminish the number of independent, totalizing worldviews.Read more at location 1167
Minerva phenomenon need not destroy the smaller cultureRead more at location 1168
smaller culture often regroups and learns how to competeRead more at location 1169
Note: ....... Edit
leading to a cultural renaissance, albeit of a synthetic nature.Read more at location 1170
American Indian creativity, as illustrated by the Navajo, has made a comeback in recent decades, precisely through this mechanism. Many contemporary Navajo textiles, sandpaintings, and jewelry works sell for high prices and receive critical acclaim. The Navajo resurgence, however, has come under very different terms than the original Navajo successes. Navajo creators deal with the external marketplace in similar ways as do mainstream American artists. While trading posts survive for tourists, and sell many Navajo works, the best Navajo artists attach their names to original works of art, which they sell through galleries, most of all in Santa Fe.Read more at location 1170
Note: x ES NAVAJO Edit
The Paradox of DiversityRead more at location 1178
Note: T Edit
ideology of individualistic self-fulfillment,Read more at location 1179
modern commercial society.Read more at location 1180
As Francis Fukuyama noted with his “end of history” thesis, this liberal- democratic worldview currently has no serious ideological competitor,Read more at location 1182
Note: x FUKU Edit
A commercial society supports many differing stylesRead more at location 1184
It is no surprise that the United States provides such a wide range of offerings in fields as diverse as abstract art, popular music, jazz, contemporary classical music, cinema, poetry, architecture, biography, and both serious and blockbuster fiction, among many other areas.Read more at location 1185
growing menu of choice in a particular society may limit the menu of choice for the world as a whole.Read more at location 1188
As commercialism spreads, fewer societies will serve as a world apartRead more at location 1189
Art collectors, sitting comfortably in American or European societies that already offer an amazing cornucopia of products, may not benefit much from the successful commercialization of Papua New Guinea.Read more at location 1190
Many renowned Third World and indigenous creations are rooted in cultures that scorn and limit diversity, at least as we define that term in modern commercial society. The underlying ethoses in these societies are often based on illiberal religions, social practices, and political institutions.Read more at location 1195
Note: ........ Edit
closely tied to ceremonial and ritualistic functionsRead more at location 1197
Commercialization will not dry up Third World and indigenous sources of creativity, but it will make them less uniquely specialized, at least relative to the already commercialized West.Read more at location 1200
4 Why Hollywood Rules the World, and Whether We Should Care