I don’t think that globalization, globalism,
this idea that the world is a village is true. In fact it’s remarkable how culture bound
we are. And that’s not a limitation, that’s just
a feature of us as a species. We are animals and animals operate based on
their empirical senses. So take a deer in a forest. A deer in a forest has the eyesight, the smell
and the hearing that it needs to survive. And so there’s an interesting concept in
zoology of flight distance which is the distance that an animal needs to be aware of something
that might endanger it that will trigger a flight response. So animals have different kinds of flight
distances. So a flamingo if it sees a threatening animal
needs a certain distance so that it can start flapping its wings and fly away. Flamingos are not natural flyers so they need
– so it’s like maybe 150 meters let’s say. So they have senses that are good enough for
them to survive. What we have done with our technology is so
increased our sensorial capacity that if a ferry overturns in Bangladesh we hear about
it here in New York 50,000 miles away which means our senses are overloaded with information
which in an animal would stress it to death. If you increase the deer’s capacity to hear
beyond the whatever it can hear – let’s say a deer can hear, I don’t know what the
distance is. Let’s say a deer can hear 300 meters away. That’s what it needs let’s say. I’m sure it’s closer than that but let’s
say it’s 100 meters away. You know a deer needs to hear that distance
and if anything is coming or running towards it, a lion, a tiger, a wolf the hundred feet
will be enough for it to turn and decamp and so it’s not stressed. If there’s a perimeter of 100 meters around
a diameter, a radius, sorry. A hundred meters around it where there’s
no sounds it’ll be at rest unstressed. If you gave a deer a hearing capacity of 1,000
feet you’d be hearing way more noises than it needs to process. You’d be hearing about wolves or tigers
that are way too far to endanger it. Yet it’s aware of them therefore it would
be stressed. And I suspect in our world and this idea of
globalization we are hearing things that are so far away from us that actually have no
consequence on us as individuals. Now cumulatively of course they do. We are ultimately connected. There are six degrees of separation. So that’s the reason behind human rights
advocacy that when an individual is being tortured to death in Egypt or in China it
should matter to us. It should. But in a practical way each one of us every
single day there’s only so many groans and cries and shrieks from around the world that
we can hear where it keeps on being meaningful. At one point we block it out because it’s
too much. So I think globalization creates a sense of
unity without empowering us that we can really do something about it. And so that’s – it’s that schizophrenia
that we live with every single day. You read about, you know, you read The New
York Times which is a fantastic newspaper with an extraordinary coverage of many realities. Most articles there’s very little you can
do about. And so it’s kind of disempowering. So I find globalization while in a sense being
well-meaning giving us eyes around the globe is also some ways disempowering because it
tells us things about which we can do nothing. So ultimately I think we have to limit the
information and go deeper. And so I think that’s what often happens. You see that for example with NGOs, with charitable
organizations who specialize. So, you know, they’ll specialize about saving
the panda bear or the human rights situation in Haiti or about educating girls in Africa. They will narrow their focus so they can have
an impact. And that of course that has been helped by
globalization. We are aware of more knowledge that it’s
overwhelming. It’s a tidal wave coming our way and you
sort of select which bit of the water, which bit of the wave you want to try to engage
with meaningfully.

55 thoughts on “Is globalization actually disempowering? | Yann Martel”

  1. When information becomes noise and we start experiencing fatigue from caring so much about everything yet doing so little, it's time to reevaluate our priorities and remain focused on what we can actually do to the issues that matter to us.

    Personally, choose an issue that you are affected by. Focus on bettering yourself around that particular issue or contributing towards fixing it.

    If each of us focused on the personal issues that affect us, we will collectively resolve problems as a community. So although information fatigue is a thing, I believe the media is helpful as it actually incentivizes people by reaching out to us about the issues that matter individually. That being said, if you read the news and a particular story touches you or hits close to home, take action.

    Without the overload of information, it would be the opposite problem. We would be completely apathetic and not having anything to care about.

  2. Globalisation has its positive side, no doubt, but humans, are not programed to be a world citizen. They will loose their identity, wich is really important for happiness. People get a culture shock when going to a different culture and that is saying something.

    Also the utopia of a one world, one religion, one governemnt, world citizen to erase poverty, war etc. will end in war, since the question will be; who gets to be the world government and have all the power? that will result in problems

  3. The JEglobalistsWS are a wicked, evil people, who have a demonic desire to control others. They love sadism and torture.

  4. Not if you're rich in a rich country or if you're poor and emigrating to a rich country. If you're poor and native to a rich country, yes.

  5. No more so than existing in nay community is. You do not have individual freedoms and liberties within communities, you have social freedoms and liberties. The difference is you make some personal sacrifices to obtain the benefits of living in a community. People not willing to make sacrifices to their freedom and liberties to exist in a community, should be sent away to go live in caves alone where they can be as free as they like.

  6. Stupid question. Globalization empowers everyone on the planet with internet access the ability to work remotely for someone on the other side of the planet.

  7. People = continually vote against globalization bc it takes away their jobs

    Big Stink = Derp, flamingos and shit, dude. It's soooo cool!

  8. I like it but I would liked it a lot more if you had taken just a few minutes to get his scientific facts correct (or even close). Bangladesh is not 50,000 miles away from anywhere. Travel 50’000 miles on this planet and you pretty much end up back where you started.

  9. Well, the fact that the internet censorship and hate speech laws for 2020 are going to be massively increased, says it all really about the globalist. They don't want people knowing the truth about the entire central bank debt system scam; people communicating, and thinking for themselves!

  10. He doesn't once mention any element of globalization other than the 24 hour news cycle. I struggle to understand why he's tried to paint the current state of modern media as synonymous with globalization.

  11. Buuuuuut deer don't build weapons of mass destruction. As citizens of Earth we need to know and understand what is going on in our home. The key is we need to educate ourselves to understand what is important and what is trivial.

  12. Am I the only one who giggled at 50k miles?! The earth’s circumference is 24,901, so a trip to Bangladesh is probably around 7k miles away.

    I get his point, but 50k miles away is a lot… around 20% of the distance to the moon😉

  13. He Totally misses the point. Which is that a small number of global elites have used globalism to rig the economy perform human rights abuses and then use corporate media like New York Times to cover for them.

  14. Globalization started as soon as we traded goods is ships long ago some would debate earlier long how codependent our economy is with China dumbass 🤣🤣 I would think big think could the year right.. I guess not

  15. Would appreciate if the title reflected the content of the video. "Globalization" is much more than the feelings Yann described here. It only began to become halfway interesting at the end, but by that point he can't expand on any of the points he makes, so it just sounds bad.

  16. I’m not sure what the point of that ramble was. Maybe one thing globalization does is it gives Canadian authors the license to not only tell immigration stories involving fictitious tigers, but sell those same stories to American studios who subsequently launch a globally acclaimed film directed by a Taiwanese filmmaker? I mean, is Yann saying he’d relinquish that global framework, that license to operate from which he is reaping so much personal reward?

  17. This question was already answered by God at the Tower of Babel.

    And if you don't follow the Bible, just think of the accepted wisdom of "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Also, information scientists know that distributed storage and processing is safer and stronger than centralized.

  18. What is frustrating about this topic, is that myself as the average person who actually thinks about topics as this. Says what Mr. Martel has said in this video and we are not listened to but the second we have a platform that the masses have then we are in fact listened to.

  19. What a dumb video. This is an example of Big Arrogance, not Big Think. Conflating unrelated ideas with little criticality. Please Keep those ideas to creative expression; do not transfer them to descriptions of reality.

  20. But "united" countries CAN do more about distant problems than individual countries can by themselves. Don't forget that "full" globalization also means unity of "resources"….

    I think the real reason why wealthy countries don't want to fix other countries' problems is because they think it's cheaper to fix only their own country's problems versus numerous other countries' including their own.

    But what if everyone is helping "each other" out… then what???

    I think a relevant question is: do all of the countries "combined" have the resources to fix more of the world's problems then the divided countries can now? If so, then why isn't the world uniting to fix more problems??? Could it just be that some people(like excessively rich people who would rather spend money on mansions, supercars, yachts, jewelry, etc) just don't want to share because they'd rather spend their money on the above-parenthesized things???🤔

  21. Not the first to say that focusing on local issues is important, more important than trying to start with the worst issue in the world. Even if the issue a world away is objectively worse, it may be more important to spend your money and time on more local issues.

  22. This has nothing to do with empowerment and everything to do with the scale of meaningful contribution. When you lived in a town 60 years ago and helped your neighbors out, you helped your community and by extension everyone youd ever know that mattered to you. Now with social media and vast news coverage you see that your neighbor is just another person in the billions of us that has troubles. You go from helping your whole community to helping less than a billionth of the community that is our globe, and that feels awful.

  23. Imagine how much worse the problem will be in the distant future, when we'll be getting news from other planets.

  24. Globalisation will mean the end of the individual and the death of unique cultures. Globalisation is something that will happen naturally over a long time. Fast forwarding it will do, is doing great damage.

  25. This doesnt sound like a critique of the flavor of globalism you hear from paranoid delusional fear mongering alex jones groomed fanboys.

  26. It's very frustrating to see these people say "oh wow the world sucks we should go back to being ignorant that's better for everyone". No globalization and globalism is not disempowering it's the first step in helping the world collectively and advocating for willful ignorance only slows down that process.

  27. I must have a 'hearing distance' of about 4 feet, cause I don't give a sh"t about anything outside of my relevant bubble. I don't watch the news, don't read it, don't care what's happening that I cannot control or has no bearing on me. My stress and worry level are low low.

  28. The information glut, and the awareness of global human suffering it brings to us, is overwhelming only when we use empathy instead of compassion. Everything we do has always affected others all around the globe and on down through time, whether any one of us has been aware of that as an individual or not. But when we become aware of it, and we become aware of the humanity and capacity for suffering we share with all people, then we can take responsibility for how our actions affect others and learn universal compassion to keep ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by empathizing with others' suffering, as spelled out to us in every tragic headline that flashes before our eyes. And although you or I may not be able to do much to alleviate that suffering as an individual, what tomorrow brings depends on everything done by everyone everywhere today. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Think globally, think eternally. But act locally and act now. Together we can reduce worldsuck. Just remember that the first step to making the world a better place is to quit trying to make it a perfect one.

  29. This type of evolutionary reasoning resonates strongly with me and the argument is very persuasive. Great video.

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