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Nationhood : The future of Nationalism
Alan Smith
Project Description:
On June 2008, Alan Smith posted a great article on the topic of Nationhood, on his Personal Cargo, part of the Space Collective community. As he explains on his post: "As time marches on, we see the weakening of geographical forces on the lives and activities of humans. The borders we used to draw are being replaced with centers and relationships of relevance. People flock to cities, the countryside empties, and the connection to a National identity in a virtual connected world is no longer the most powerful connection an indivudal feels to another group. So where will this trend take us? What will the nations of the future look like? When we move towards the borderless expanse of space and cyberspace, how will we define ourselves?".

Alan concludes his rationale with the question "What if your nation was your values, a nation a thought?". In order to find an answer to this inquest he build an intricate map based on the values of a made-up persona called Summer Smith, represented across 3 axis: Ecological, Social, and Financial.

The values have scales based on semantic differentials. The averages of Summer values would determine the co-ordinates of her Nation. Each nations name would be generated by the names of the company alone. The population of the Nations would not be fixed to one number, but rather have various thresholds between people who share the exact same values, people who are similar, and people who are opposites. These could be seen as Allies and Enemies. The size of the nation could be characterized by the scope of the values, focused, or expansive.

Alan finishes the article with an interesting prediction: "In the future, the importance of geography will be matched by the importance of values and ideas. Overlapping islands of thought within a flexible possibility space ever-expanding to match the boundaries of human creativity".

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