If The Future Is Cultural Power . . .

This article on the future of China as a superpower intrigued me, mostly for asking the question of what kind of superpower China could be.  As I analyzed it, I ultimately figured power has to be cultural on one level or another – simply using force of any form is limited and limiting, as well as exhausting and compromising.  So my rough figuring was China will have more power the more it is able to exert positive cultural influence.

Then I began thinking about the world.  Where US films are exported everywhere.  Where anime is a giant cultural export for Japan.  Where India has taken the musical to amazing heights.  Where Gangnam style has raised awareness of Korean music, and probably K-pop as a whole.

The US was also good at leveraging export technologies and economic and political power post WWII.  Anime would not have been nearly as popular in the US without fansubs, streaming, and cheaper delivery technology.  India’s media popularity has gone slow-burn, but seems to be helped by things like Netflix and hip cultural awareness like the Colbert Show.  Gangnam style wouldn’t even be KNOWN without Youtube.

Cultural power is something that China will want and need – and that means media and communications technologies, shows and comics, a real media/world presence.

So that makes me wonder what’s next for China.  Will it try to build a culture engine for commercial, economic, and cultural power?  Will one evolve or be allowed to evolve?  Is it even being thought of?

What will their geeks and geekonomy be like if they seek superpower status and cultural influence in the world?

I’m not sure I have answers.  OK I’m pretty sure I don’t, but it’s going to be interesting to see the Chinese geekonomy and how it works – and evolves – and connects it to the world.  You have to open up to have influence . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.



Behold 3D Printing: Bow Before It

The BBC has an awesome report on 3D printers at CES.  If you're not familiar with 3D Printing allow me to mock you.

It's looking like we have several companies working on home 3D printers – which means affordable ways to basically make plastic stuff at home off of your computer.  Try and wrap your mind around that idea – for $2000 you can make stuff off your computer.  All those times you glossy-printed fanart are nothing compared to this.

With more than one company in play here, I think it's inevitable that we're going to see 3D printers in the home (in fact the BBC article helps explain the simplicity of some of the tech).  So I'm trying to imagine the impact of this, and of course that means BULLET POINTS.

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