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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 24 - Small World

The world used to be vast expanses of the unknown a couple hundred years ago. As time has passed, there have been plenty of new unknowns and our maps have been constantly changing up until about a hundred years ago. There have been new and exciting frontiers into those unknowns whether it is Lewis and Clark traversing towards the West or Maslow traveling up the Congo River in Heart of Darkness, there always seems to be a location which we have no idea what is occurring there so we go and explore it. In this day and age there are only a couple of areas for which we consider the unknown. One of them is in the body of waters for which no human has entered before. Hundreds of feet underwater there exists an area devoid of the necessities of normal life for which we have no idea exists down there. The other is considered the final frontier which is space that we have almost absolutely no idea of what exists there and are continuing everyday expanding our knowledge base of these locations. In respects to another viewpoint of the "small world," that phrase usually refers to when someone knows another mutual friend and is usually associated with the emotion of astonishment because it is thought of as being a coincidence that your social network coincides with another's that is previously unnoticed. Tech is a huge factor in decreasing in a sense "the size of the world." It makes everyone interconnected and now with things like Facebook and Skype you will never lose contact with anyone again and it completely changes the landscape of the rest of the world. With these technologies our social habits change as well and with the world being "smaller" everyone knows more people and it is harder to keep things as personal unless you maintain small circles. The old habits which we find almost obsolete now like letters are being replaced by newer methods like texts and instant messages. It is also interesting to see its affects on our ideas of what is considered socially acceptable. Not responding to someone's text is less harmful to the integrity of your relationship than refusing to answer someone's call. It is also changing the landscape of a person's perception of what is considered a "friend." People add others on Facebook who they may never say a word to in the real world. If you know everyone under the sun then no wonder the world is becoming smaller.

-Allan Nicholas

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