“On knowing we don’t know…understanding Globalization”

In an odd way, I get former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld when he said, “There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld) I realize there are things I do not know, but should know. And I know that I have to work at knowing, lest I simply have a stack of opinions founded on nothing but my feelings or personal experiences. I may have feelings or ideas about something, but actually not know anything about it in reality.

I think we really need to know something about globalization. It is an expansive subject, and one must be educated in it if entering into the conversation is to be more than my opinion; if one wants to contribute to the potential of changing the Midwest Mindset. We have to know what we are talking about including the advantages, disadvantages, how globalization works, and why. We have to understand the interconnectedness of people, arts, and a host of other topics, but also divine the dilemmas in economics, how one’s prosperity takes advantage of another developing or least developing nations, and so on. Globalization can create inequities, but also vast opportunities for people. Globalization is not a ‘this or that’ kind of equation, but a willingness to weigh the complexity of the concept. But have to know all the issues and where we might be in them before we can adequately begin addressing the topic.

I want to suggest just two places to start. There are many resources available, but as a researcher myself; I always try to get a simple base of understanding before I begin piling on the myriad of nuances to a subject. So, I suggest starting with these two places:

Wikipedia: It is the easiest place to begin. This article has a lot and will help you begin to understand the concept of globalization. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization

The second it The Levin Institute – The State University of New York. I found this a very good site. It is visually easy to navigate, it is well documented on a variety of issues, and it provides introductions then more in depth items of what you will learn. It provides discussion opportunities, but overall challenges the reader to understand the concept of globalization and its implications. You will see in this site that globalization covers not only economics, but language, culture, education, art, music and much more. http://www.globalization101.org/

It’s one thing to have an opinion. It’s another to actually know something. I encourage you to join the two by taking on the task of learning. Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana said in his final State of Indiana Address, “Leaders never loaf.” That is good advice if you want to lead in helping change the Midwest Mindset or for that matter any problem facing us. And it starts with knowing what one is talking about.

Blessings,
David Neidert