National Geographic : 1999 Aug
,4°} iEc sthr world is made intelligible." PETER JACKSON, GE0GRAPWE , 1989 rl ,ye zzm atu Iy transformed. Many changes such as the, grow no The .millennium Tl, 16 tr ',fordetnocracy and human rights, are positive. Others seem less series will cQn tinue with articles rides itsQlf'On f anvil loyalty , et migration to 'I se.culture p T y g on science in the itl "6 ngiiig'priozities are bluntin age-old traditions like caring October 1999 issue. par tiis :Even those who try to protect traditional practices For moreon the, millennium visit inr rtheI'll sfelves e pbracing new tecllolo, v Afghanistans Taliban, who www.nationalgeo s e power to 1996 and fulfilled their promise to. exclude movies and graphic.com. othitur'aXnCrusion s, recently completed an old-fashioned stoning by:havittg t kknoc'k a brick wall down on tap of the, o-idemiied. As' thei t 'flu ri :e increases, dominant, cultures tend to'splinter. Sanskrit', out1 :Asia for centuries, but by 1200, largely because of in as tIs id thy n erbenceof new religious, disstinLt groups speaking Panjabi, Hihdt, and Bengali had evolved ngli h, no v spoken by more than one fifth of the world, is an essential element of 'the new global culture. Are electronics spreading that c tilt ure so "qt ckl)r and per vasively that it Till kill any new languages that might take the place of English? Perhaps. But the use of new spoken Englishes is on the rise; as David Crystal pints out in his 1997 book, English as a Global aiigiiag . Ghana, Nigeria, and Singapore, for example, are, developing versions of English unintelligible to outsiders. Singapore's~ Singlish corribines nglish with Malay and a Chinese language called 'Hokkien 'That's: really very sayang lair" has no direct translation but conveys great sad Hess, a feeling of what a waste or pity The city-state of Singaport ; itself, which has grown from fewer: than. 300,000 people "ir 1900 to tour million today, also representts a dramatic, characteristic of the global cul ture. Today nearly half of us live in cities. Zn 19 00 only a tenth o'f us did The chief reason: technological innovations that require fewer aid fewer farinets Urban life; which seenis!to ave begun in the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys at least 6,000 weirs ago, is one of the world's oldest inventions. People luring in cities. generate most.knowledgeand art, and pnuster the- resources' needed to explore w'hat lies ;beyond humanity's reach or understanding. "Vile of Three Cities'; examine slending cities in the years A.D. 1, 1000, and 2000. These cities teach" a familiar lesson: Humans can resist and shape change, but as in nature, loss of the old is inevitable because it makes room for the new.