Our online societies are are evolving light years faster than human civilization. In the early days, everyone was stumbling around in their caves with Dial Up, each folk was alone in their little cave, amazed at the fire that is slooooowly downloading. Then Piracy began with folks taking to the seas, Napster is one example. This was a stormy time for pirates. Like little self proclaimed Headmen or Big Men of our own domains, we asserted ourselves over each other. The comment sections in Youtube and Blogs were filled with the new word, Trolls. I’d have to say these were the Autonomous Crusades for self promotion.
Folks were eager to take to the internet and conquer it with their own point of view, barbarically beating everyone else down. These Autonomous Crusaders have moved over to their own channel and occasionally emerge with pranks. Actually, a good one is where they stole a flag from an unknown location. They rallied among themselves, pooled their mental resources of CIA level Intelligence and found the damn flag based on meteorological reports. Amazing what communities can accomplish when they work together.
This brings me to today, and to book tube specifically. We are a great community, a bookish party if you will. I can see book tube evolving to become so much more than just books. It can develop into a section of the pioneers for cultural literacy. I think one of reading’s most powerful aspects is the power of education. It encourages us to become self educated and autonomous learners. The purpose of to educate is to develop the ability to think for oneself. You can trace it back etymologically to mean this.
Since we are a community of readers, we must have some desire for knowledge regardless of what we read. Reading and watching TV/Movies affect our minds differently. Reading is slower, so we are aware of our side of the conversation with the medium. Watching TV is faster, so we turn down our side of the conversation until later. It’s just my observation, I could be mistaken or others could have a different opinion on this.
For the most part, active readers enjoy thinking and reflecting on things. In a community, they would enjoy sharing their ideas. Globally, we interact with folks from so many different countries. We are learning how to engage with each other, not only online but among cultural barriers. The more international book tubers that come on to the scene, the more important cultural literacy becomes.
If the CC improves, our community can expand beyond language barriers and that’s damn exciting!! It’s also increasingly important to become more responsible and respectful of our cultural differences.
I’ve heard of Cultural Sensitivity and that’s a great word, it’s important to develop. But I think Cultural Literacy is a far more profound achievement. Literacy is the ability to understand and apply what you’ve learned. To me, it means that knowledge becomes a part of you. If we’re culturally literate, we can understand more of the culture we are engaging with. That understanding means we share a connection with that person regardless if we agree with everything they stand for. It’s far more difficult to become literate in a culture.
And it’s slightly different than simply respecting a fellow person. Because our view of respect and theirs could be different.
How can we learn Cultural Literacy? Is it attainable? How can we become literate without putting the culture into a box? What stones do we need to share with each other as we develop this ability?
A culture is an evolving, living, shared part of the human experience.