hybrid life

Network Science Says Info Brokering Between Networks Makes You A Game Changer. It's Also 2nd Nature To People With Hybrid Cultural Identities.

Don't I know it.

My own hybrid, cross-disciplinary, limbo-state life and work is founded on this phenomenon that network science acknowledges.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 8.23.50 PM Michael Simmons, author and cofounder of iEmpact, explains in "Why Being The Most Connected Is A Vanity Metric" at Forbes that your network is a set of clusters and when you manage to broker info between them you're a game changer. And, being an info broker is a way of life, and you have to constantly fight the urge to relax into the comfort of a group you know. He points out being an info broker is a good foundation for entrepreneurship.

It's no coincidence (to me, or anyone else who read, wrote for, or commented at my hybrid identity discussion site expat+HAREM back in 2009! or anyone who's familiar with the principles of my current community-driven, social web curriculum startup GlobalNiche) that this Forbes piece was written by a multicultural, multiethnic hybrid identity entrepreneur whose life has naturally made him an info broker between networks.

Peruse the expat+HAREM discussions on identity and hybridity.  Look at the highlights of Rose Deniz's podcast about living the hybrid life and what you leave behind in order to do so.

That's echoed in Michael Simmons' piece -- the reason why we can't get comfortable in one group if we want to participate in what he calls "the renaissance of network science" -- is because we lose value and impact by staying ensconced there.

We need to move between all our clusters -- online, offline, professional, personal, ethnic, family, school, friends, interests -- bearing rich, precious, communal, resonant information. That's our job (and our lifestyle) as network game changers.

The Bellyflops of Social Media Mismanagement

On the precipice of war, overreaching false cosmopolitanism continues. Plus, parents plan for unsustainable digital abstinence.

 

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 2.44.26 PM

The overreaching false cosmopolitanism continues. Read my sadly-still-fresh take here.

Today the Kenneth Cole Twitter account tweeted something thoughtless about "Boots on the ground" or not, don't forget about sandals and loafers.

Nope.

Boots on the ground are soldiers going to war  possibly to be maimed or killed, and to wreak havoc on the lives of others. The precipice of war is not an opportunity to remind people you make loafers.

 

Feels like deja vu for Cole. Because it is. The brand flopped just like this in 2011.

At that time I made the connection between global mishaps of high profile brands and the false cosmopolitanism we’re all suffering

There was Groupon’s SuperBowl ad fiasco, when the company attempted to mix consumerism with sensitive political, environmental, cultural, economic and social issues, and the Kenneth Cole Twitter debacle which appeared to make light of unrest in Cairo.

In 2010, I wrote about earlier instances of the phenomenon of false cosmopolitanism, inspired by Ethan Zuckerman and Jen Stefanotti's work on the topic.

We've got a culture problem on our hands. Access to the worldwide web makes us imagine we’re global thinkers. But we’re not. Not even close.

In order to truly be global thinkers, we’d have to be xenophiles, actively and constantly bridging cultures, immersed and knowledgeable about multiple worlds.

 

Most people hang out in “like-minded microcosms” and when we cross a boundary online the new light shed on everyone’s prejudices and assumptions can take us by surprise.

This “xeno-confusion” is happening more often in the virtual realm, with higher and higher stakes.

Today’s other big story of social media mismanagement has been swiftly answered by Alexandra Samuel of Love Your Life Online. It falls into the category of unsustainable digital abstinence to solve problems that may crop up in the future.

"Don't be scared to Facebook your kids," she responds to Amy Webb's piece at Slate "We Post Nothing About Our Daughter Online."

Samuel writes: "Parenthood is such a central experience that there’s no way to cut it out of your online life without profoundly compromising your own ability to have authentic, meaningful connections online."

That’s exactly right. Plus, digital abstinence doesn’t prepare you for the world your child will grow up in.

How are you preparing yourself for a wider world?

Making The Psychic Limbo Of Global Citizens A Productive State

The expat+HAREM COMMUNITY AIMS TO HELP YOU: 1) DISCOVER your psychic peers + global community 2) CREATE a hybrid identity from your many worlds

Why do you need our help? The short answer: Because liminal life is a bittersweet limbo -- coming, going, never quite arriving -- and here at expat+HAREM the community embraces this unmoored and central reality of our globetrotting, multicultural, hybrid times.

A PLACE WHERE DIGITAL NOMADS, EXPATS, IMMIGRANTS, FUTURISTS AND WORLD CULTURALISTS ARE UNIQUELY SUITED TO SUCCEED

The psychic limbo and identity adventure global citizens experience today is expat+HAREM's sweet spot. Our neoculture.

This neoculture is our situation in life and our world view. What we work to make sense of, and to capitalize on.

Here at expat+HAREM we've defined the problem, and provide the solution.

Glo· bal· niche, n.

a psychic solution to your global identity crisis

[More about Anastasia Ashman, the founder of this global niche.]

MAKING LIMBO A PRODUCTIVE STATE Limbo is usually considered a place in-between. A state of suspended animation. Paralysis, a spinning of the wheels. Nowheresville. But it can also be an unconstrained place where anything is possible. That's how expat+HAREM choses to see it. Multifaceted people like us have strength and flexibility and experience and access to multiple perspectives. These are all assets.

WE'RE IN THE VANGUARD AND NEED EACH OTHER Globalization has had an unfortunate disenfranchising effect. (Perhaps like many in our community you've been there personally!) However, despite the resistance and misunderstanding and worrying 'purity' movements we're witnessing in populations large and small, at expat+HAREM we believe fostering our particular dialogue of culture and identity is a way forward. A chance to find new and meaningful connection to the world while making sense of conflicting situations.

IT'S NOT ALL BIG PICTURE Sure, we like to talk about the big picture -- whole hemispheres and societies! -- but at our heart we're concerned with the smallest details of the individual. Navigating relationships with people in your life. Achieving psychic location independence. Negotiating our personal connection with the many worlds we love to belong to. That's how we'll find our global niche.

HERE'S WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY "WE'LL HELP YOU FIND YOUR GLOBAL NICHE": a psychic solution to your global identity crisis.

COMMON INTEREST AND EXPERIENCE DEFINES US

Our most important bonds are no longer solely decided by geography, nationality or even blood. When we find where we uniquely belong in the world we've found our global niche.

expat+HAREM, the global niche embodies the Expat Harem concept* -- localized foreigner, outsider on the inside -- while speaking to intentional travelers, identity adventurers and global citizens of all kinds.

This 2-year archive of neoculture discussions delves into perspective on the crossroads and dichotomies of our hybrid lives:

  • modern existences in historic places
  • deep-rooted traditions translated in mobile times
  • limiting stereotypes revisited for wider meaning
  • the expat mindset as it evolves from nationalism to globalism

More.

THOUGHTS ON HYBRID LIFE WRITING Combining outsider-view-from-the-inside and journey of self-realization, we think expat/emigree/immigrant literature deserves a shelf of its own.

+++ OUR ROOTS +++ Based on the original Expat Harem concept by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gokmen

expat+HAREM, the global niche is the archive of a group blog and community site launched in 2009 by Anastasia Ashman, coeditor with Jennifer Eaton Gökmen of Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey.

* The site is inspired by the cultural embrace and self-exploration of that best-selling and critically acclaimed 2005 expatriate literature collection.

+ DETAILS: media coverage, academic uses, and awards for the anthology created and edited with Jennifer Eaton Gökmen, compiling the work of 32 international Expat Harem writers.

+ BEST 5 BOOKS ON TURKEY: Turkey’s most-read author Elif Shafak picks Expat Harem among the best 5 books on Turkey (Five Books, November 2010)

+ THE ACCIDENTAL ANTHOLOGIST: expat+HAREM founder's personal story behind the book.

+ HAREM GIRLS FOR SALE: 2 years from workshop to bestseller list -- the story of two expat editors.

Editors interviewed on The Crossroads satellite TV, July 2009

+++++ Take the next step with us --> into GlobalNiche.net's creative self enterprise for the global soul.  Another good place to explore:  Anastasia Ashman's producer page at Facebook.

False Cosmopolitanism

We’re suffering from a false sense of cosmopolitanism. Access to the worldwide Interwebs leads us to imagine ourselves global thinkers. But we’re not -- unless we’re true xenophiles, bridging cultures, immersed and knowledgeable about multiple worlds. Most people hang out in “like-minded microcosms” and when we cross a boundary online the new light shed on everyone’s prejudices and assumptions can take us by surprise.

“Xeno-confusion” is happening more often in the virtual world, like this stumble into unfamiliar territory. Viewed through the lens of American civil politics, an American company's skin whitening product campaign on Facebook targeting Indians raised an anticolonialist uproar -- but not from the Indians. (No similar protests reported for popular self tanners that darken the skin.)

The launch of TEDWomen, a conference examining the effect of women and girls on the world’s future, created its own online culture shockwave. Are we all on the same page, North American feminists blogged here and here and here, wondering if a gathering separate from the main TED event to discuss the impact of womankind is brilliant or belittling. A blog sought a more nuanced perspective and tried the group replacement test, substituting one marginalized group for another. Imagine TEDGay. TEDMinority. TEDPoor.

Recently in a 10,000-person international network for women writers I found myself in an alternate online reality. An author asked the general community of “White people” (sic) to promote her new work, sight unseen besides a short synopsis, because booksellers relegate titles by black authors like her to a separate section and that negatively affects sales.

Her book substance-free promotion was at odds with how and why people share information and recommendations about books, even marginalized, discriminated against writers. Instead she let everyone know she “loves White people” and her “Spanish husband looks white on the street”.

A majority of the responses were “Sure, I’ll do that for you.” I expressed my confusion. Why was she talking to us like we were part of the problem? Why not normalize the work by taking it off the margins and offer to show it to those of us fellow writers who want to review it in our respective media and communities?

What a baffling corner of the Internet: a place where I'm addressed like a person who normally chooses reading material based on the author’s skin color  -- that would be dumbly racist, no? -- someone who today can be convinced to promote a title (to my Great White People Book Club) based on the original poster’s shelving problems at the bookstore and the-more-palatable-to-me skin tone of her husband glimpsed from afar.

Does it matter that there is definitively no such thing as a White people, or a Great White People Book Club, or that the motivation for word of mouth marketing requires a product to be “extremely helpful, interesting, unique, or valuable to a specific niche market”? Not in that particular microcosm, a place running on logic inherently foreign to me.

In this SheWrites universe I don’t even need to do a group replacement test (“Rich people”, “Powerful people”, “Beautiful people”) to know someone imagines it’s that easy to butter me up for their own purpose.

We may believe we’re global thinkers, and not be. But we’ve got other challenges. To be a global thinker demands we navigate and find a way to bridge worlds that might make only a sinister kind of sense.

As a xenophile, where online do you stumble?

Solstice Reading: A Time For Vicarious Reconnoitering

Next Monday's the longest and shortest day of 2010. Northern or Southern hemisphere, somehow the midyear encourages us to slow down. Lazy days of summer, cozy nights of winter. No better time to explore the whole new world of a good book about the world. (Or a title about staying home -- 'the staycation' -- like this New York Times travel reads round-up suggests.)

We're pleased to feature a reader reply, the latest happenings at the site including a hybrid life reading list you can help build, and breath-taking sagas for Father's Day.

+++++ YOUR THOUGHTS

Let us know what you'd ask the expat+HAREM community.

A reader answers May's question:

Global values are intuitive human ethics, says Peter Adams, an energy worker and global nomad in Istanbul. Autonomy, community, divinity...plus shared explanations of suffering.

Yet interpretations of morality vary across culture, and fuel maddening conflicts like America's current culture war. See how.

Think you know your own moral foundation? Get a profile here (and donate your details to science).

+++++ AT expat+HAREM

Moving homebase: this month sees a new blog series called Founder's Desk. First entries are a year's worth of posts from my cultural producer blog on themes like culture and history, self-improvement and the struggle for identity -- from one family to entire hemispheres. So pleased to finally be in the company of expat+HAREM's guest bloggers, it's good to be home!

A new slideshow highlights our favorite (and wish-listed) titles about interaction with the world. Suggestions -- these are all about women -- come from the expat+HAREM community, and fans of expat, emigree and travel lit in our  hybrid life writing #LitChat on Twitter. Tell us your favorite titles.

In this post by "a former queen of multi-tasking", one woman aims to recreate a rural pace of life in a Turkish metropolis of 15 million. (We'll be watching this time-bending experiment closely!)

Tons of other new material at the site: defining the hybrid lifestyle and the release of our Dialogue2010 podcast, plus a whole summer of art love in the Istanbul culture capital web carnival.

Guess we're due for a vacation too!

+++++ AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB

Reconnoiter like the ballsiest explorers. Oceans! Mountains! Poles! Experts in "natural and cultural destinations", Longitude booksellers curates a hardy list of new and classic adventure titles for Father's Day.

Psychic Solution To Your Global Identity Crisis

Glo· bal· niche, n. psychic solution to your global identity crisis

Don't coin too many terms, warn the smart search engine optimizers. "No one will know what you're talking about plus they won't be able to find you!" At expat+HAREM we like to talk about unconventional, unbounded and unmapped life as we experience it, and if we could find the lingo we need in common usage, we'd certainly use it.

(Tell us the terms you use.)

On Twitter someone asked, “is ‘hybrid life’ kinda like what a salamander leads?” Uh, sure...you could call us cultural amphibians. Water, air, land, we (try to) do it all.

If you've arrived in the expat+HAREM community, perhaps you do know what I'm talking about. Or maybe you want to see what's next in neoculture (another coined term to-be-explained).

Here’s the deal.

WE'RE ALL BORN GLOBAL CITIZENS even if that knowledge gets trained out of us. A global identity seems nebulous, and ungrounded. Better to bond with the more concrete: family, culture, nation.

Problem with concrete though: it cracks over time, in quickly changing conditions, and sometimes even under its own weight.

 

 

Globalization means we’re entering a permanent state of psychic limbo about who we are and where we belong in the world.

Mixed blood. Crossculture. Third Culture. International work, study, travel. Fusion faiths, dual nationalities. Many of us know the bittersweet liminality of living between multiple worlds, and the soul-sprung righteousness of refusing to settle on just one.

The more we move around the less home is one place --  not to mention the mirage home becomes as soon as we leave it -- so our associations spread and bifurcate and split again. Our capacity for inclusion grows, and our sense of self expands along with it.

Coming, going, never quite arriving. This is where we live today. We’re searching for our place in the world, our people, the hybrid lifestyle that will make it all cohese. We know this:

Our concrete center will not hold.

OUR PEOPLE ARE NOT WHO THEY USED TO BE We also recognize we’re unbounded by the communities in our physical midst and traditional markers like geography, nationality or even blood.

Now we find inspiring new kinship in interest and outlook.

Virtual technologies like social media and mobile devices help identity adventurers, global nomads and digital citizens integrate even faster across out-moded boundaries.

To become the global citizens we truly are, we need to find our place in the world.

This has always been the case. But the 21st century offers new ways to find where we uniquely belong, and a new urgency to actualize our global citizenship.

Here at expat+HAREM we believe you can create a psychic solution to your global identity crisis.

Call it psychic location independence.

She'sNext interview: Here I'm talking about how multifaceted, 21st century women can find their global niche.

TAPPING INTO OUR OWN GLOBAL BEING When we discover our psychic peers and foster a global community with them  -- fashioning a hybrid identity and a 'salamander' life that intersects and honors the many worlds we belong to -- we've found our global niche. It's good to be home.

Being Grounded Is Overrated: Getting Distance From The Inner You

I come from a land of Earth Mothers. On trips back to the West Coast -- Northern California, Oregon -- I note many hip young women are proud of their soft, rounded bellies, a more feminist 1970s standard of womanliness than the anorexic aughts. Like them, to me "being grounded" has meant a low center of self-gravity. Being solid in yourself. Tapped into the source. Unflappable. There's a problem with concrete though. It cracks over time, in quickly changing conditions, and sometimes even under its own weight. Settling into a life choice or a mindset that feels right today can suddenly be unsatisfactory two minutes into Tuesday. Ever a joined a group only to realize you simply wanted partial-membership in it?

So I've been thinking about fluidity. Imagine being a bobbing buoy, tied to a point deep below the surface of changing options.

By putting some distance between me and my center of gravity, I have room to be in a wider orbit around the inner me.

The winds and waves take me to new realms of myself. Life phases, bad hair days, culture shocks. Friend, colleague, wife. Turkish resident. Foreign employer, American daughter-in-law. Inspirational (or incomprehensible) online acquaintance. They're not always the same person and they don't want to be.

A related post by artist Rose Deniz questions how one’s worldview literally shifts as a result of location. Just like the hybrid self, living a hybrid life to its fullest extent may require us to toss the concrete plan.

In a new expat+HAREM real-time discussion series launching February 28th, Deniz will curate a live-recorded conversation spurred by this notion. Ten international women will gather at the cross-roads to ponder the freedoms of blurry boundaries, and reveal the anchors of their multifaceted lives.

What determines your present orbit, and how does it change your self-view?