Ming the Mechanic:
Community Straddling and multi-culturalism

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Community Straddling and multi-culturalism2003-04-06 22:13
by Flemming Funch

George Por says:
" What a delight! after writing about multi-membership here and there, I've just discovered Sébastien Paquet's concept of "community straddling" in a brief but germinal essay on Online Communities and the Future of Culture. A "community straddler is someone who participates in several communities, be it simultaneously or sequentially, and who understands the culture of each to a certain extent." Seb also says:
These people do not feel irrevocably bound to a particular community. They see themselves as multidimensional: as opposed to saying "I'm a doctor, don't expect me to teach you anything" or "I'm just a programmer, don't bug me with politics", they'll say "Well, right now I'm into this and that and that, and if you have something new to show me I just might take a plunge!"
As humankind's collective intellect--reflected to some extent on the web--became the most powerful force of production of our times, multi-community membership and the corresponding multi-dimensional evolution of human faculties, became harbingers of cultural and economic transformation much more profound and broader than we've ever had a chance to experience.
George also pointed out in an e-mail today the leverage found in the ability to speak multiple languages, in terms of collective intelligence. American supremacy made the world learn English. But now there probably are more people who speak two or more languages in Europe than in the U.S. More people who are fluent in straddling multiple cultures.

This is all important, I think. Will become increasingly important. People who act as neurons between cells that otherwise wouldn't be connected, because they speak different languages or have different world views or specialize in different areas.

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