As we grow up, depending upon our upbringing, we tend to develop a fairly narrow view of the world around us. We tend to think of the world as those people whom we know and relate to. Sure, we see the rest of the world on television and read about them briefly in the press. We all feel sad for the impoverished, but don't actually feel the pain as if it were our own.
We think we know what it means to be French, Japanese, or even Chinese. Some of us, from the comfort of our own living room, learn to hate people based upon the language they speak or the country in which they live.
I know people who have never been more than two hours from where they were born. In fact, this is the majority of the world. Yes, there are many people who have never ventured from the unknown. They have never been in a position of being the "alien". It is interesting to talk with these people to learn where they get their beliefs from.
If you have never been to Spain, never met a spaniard, and cannot even find the country on a map, how can you have any beliefs about it. However, this is exactly what people tend to do.
I have never been to North Korea. I do not speak the language. I can find it on a map however (it resides just North of South Korea!). I am sure that many of the talking heads on television have not been there either. Why is it that they know so much about the country and the people there? In fact, if you weren't paying attention, you may not have known that the United States was on the verge of a shooting war with North Korea until moods changed and now they are on the verge of a shooting war with Iran.
This leads me in a round about way to a neat little book I am reading called China Road by Rob Gifford. Mr. Gifford takes us on a journey through the center of China from Shanghai to the Gobi desert. If you think you know who China is, this book shows you just how little you do.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. (no not anyone, everyone!) China is on the verge of becoming the dominant economic power in the world. They will stay that way for a very long time. As a result, understanding a little more than the sterotypical picture of this country is important.
Next, I started outsourcing web and programming work to international talent. Why? Why send work to someone who lives in India, China or Russia? The answer is simple: they want to work and they do work. Yes, they are cheaper than their American counterparts, but that is only part of the benefit. With American technologists, I find they spend an awful large amount of their time learning on my dime. And that really pisses me off. (I'm talking to you Civil Engineers who work for a private engineering firm in Waynesboro.)
Finally, a quick update on DeWitt Crossing. We are slowly finishing up the road and sidewalks. There is still a little more work to be done, but things should be all wrapped up and finalized by October.