Yesterday was the day of TEDxVienna 2011. It was more than 12 hours conference in total. While my memory is still fresh and while I’m feeling my excitement, I’ll try to write down what I thought.
As stated in the previous post, this was my first face-to-face TED conference. Unlike watching individual movies on digital media, I could feel the “atmosphere” while watching the speakers. You could think of it as watching a live orchestra (not more than 10m distance), rather than listening to a recorded CD.
There were very interesting talks, if I’d have to pick up one, I’d like to name “Europe’s border syndrome” given by Corinna Milborn. Europe is probably one of the most, if not the most, highly democratic places in the World. But how are the people trying to come into this region from outside treated? Where is the equity? Most importantly, do we really know about what’s going on on the border?
I never actually knew about “undocumented workers”, which is, as she explained, categorized as lowest of 7 different levels of foreign workers. I knew what undocumented workers are by reading books, but never actually “felt” that it was that close to my life, although I myself am a foreigner working in Austria.
In the past, I’ve read that the contradiction of the system, which is a nation state in this context, appears at the border to the other system, not the central part. When I go back to Okinawa, which is located at southwestern border of Japan, I could feel a contradiction between what’s spoken and what I see (twice unemployment, U.S. military bases, average income, educational level, etc..). It was a shame that I didn’t think the schema is (or should be) the same in Europe.
I personally think that human is the last social element to change among goods, money, and information. I would not be surprised if people eventually “decide” (as collective opinion) to decline their living standard, rather than having to change their way of traditions and thinking (i.e., culture). But this is merely my opinion and simply being pessimistic doesn’t help much.
Looking at myself, I could instantly realize how fortunate I am; I could always go back to Japan. But would I be feeling “okay” next time I cross the border? One of my wishes of my life is to feel content and say “my life was a good one” shortly before I die (if I would be able to realize that my death was coming close). Would I be able to feel that way, after realizing what the World is actually like and simply being pessimistic? I don’t think I’d turn myself into some sort of a political or social activist just by realizing one another fact. But where would be a happy middle ground? What could I do to make myself feel happy?
# Yes, I consider myself to be an egoistic person. In order to be truly egoistic, however, you need to be very honest to yourself. I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with being content with my life while deceiving myself and pretend to be ignorant.
The subtitle of this TEDx was “the domino effect”. I certainly learn something from that day, and I hope that would have some sort of impact on my life.