A sense of place

It's been very interesting here at Shift talking about geography and how much where you are and where you have grown up matters when you have a medium like the web which shrinks distance and time.

What happens to culture when the people you "rub shoulders with" are remote in every sense of the word?

I upset my father recently by saying that I didn't feel Scottish any more. I am where I am, I meet the people I meet and increasingly that exchange happens online.

But by most common definitions I am Scottish. I grew up there, I have an accent, and I am proud of many aspects of what I gained by the experiences I had when growing up there.

But would I defend being Scottish against being English or Welsh or Portuguese? Would I fight a war in the basis of these "differences"?

I think this is where Europe has a major contribution to make to the web. We've "been there and done that" when it comes to silly wars based on silly differences. We understand shared spaces like city squares, and market places, and village greens. Through our colonial past we understand how to feel grounded in one culture yet willing to engage with others from different cultures and truly adapt and adopt the best bits from each.

We are past the antler clashing approach to global politics that seems to be dragging us into a conflict with Islam at the moment ....

.... we can do better than this.