Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Nomads and Second Life


You many not connect the Internet with the Mongol Empire, but perhaps you should.  I was thinking while exploring the excellent SIM Karekorum, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire.  Perhaps the SIM seems so right because so much of the Mongol way of life matches our lives in the web.  Mongols were nomadic people, establishing new relationships between vast ranges of what happen been before open space.


Much has been made of the Web creating a new generation of technological nomads, and if it is true perhaps on a spiritual level we new nomads should take the time to connect with our larger human heritage.  The Mongols in Central Asia have produced a culture which had a Nomadic core.



But along with motion or stillness, the Mongols had a great respect for diversity, their ancient Capitals had embassies, Buddhist, Taoist, Confusion, Christian and Muslim houses of worship.  The Khans of Mongolian valued their status on how many cultures could fit in their cities.



The Mongols also were great samplers of cultures, in the west they became Muslims mixing with the ancient culture of Persia, in the East they became the Yuan Dynasty, they established the Dali Lama and built the first palace of Beijing.


The Mongols connected spaces and cultures that had been long isolated.  Their reputation as nothing more than destroyers is utterly unjust, given the cultures of the time.  



Probably of any event in history the Mongol sudden explosion on the world stage can provide a kind of myth for the new nomadic web generation.  Not fixed to a location but fixed to motion, open to new ideas and new cultures, embracing small scale mobile high technology.  The Mongols great symbol is a palace tent on wheels, what could be a better icon for an Age of mobile Tablets?







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I have really strong opinions about silly things that I can validate using the strongest social theory, like why you should not watch Sex in the City or how the Simpsons promotes democracy.