Not travelling

I have made few somewhat painful personal decisions and radically cut down the amount of international travel I do. Travelling might be something we are told we have to do, that our careers require it, and that internationalisation or globalisation even dictates that we should be flying around the globe all the time, busily collaborating with everyone else. But why? Don’t we really have any communicational tools that we could use to cut down this insane waste of time, energy — both human energy and precious reserves of natural energy, turning it into carbon dioxide? I think we can do better. I was supposed to present game studies papers in two important conferences, CHI 2008 in Italy, and Crossroads conference of cultural studies in Jamaica. It was a real pity, but I decided not to go. Partly it was on just being too busy and having too many other duties, but partly it was related to the aforementioned reasons. Also, as our baby is small, I want to stay home as much as possible. There was an interesting presentation is a recent TACS seminar (Tampere Centre for Cultural Studies), where professor Jouni Häkli presented a paper where he draw connections from the experiences of going through the security checks and border controls while entering the USA to the ongoing ‘War against Terrorism’ and to the symbolic violence as analysed by Pierre Bourdieu. I could only agree. The experiences in airports have started to reach the point where they insult your human dignity and personal, bodily integrity. Another reason not to travel. So, sorry: I will most likely not arrive to your interesting, charming event, if it takes place outside of the Nordic countries (we have to draw the line somewhere). But we are always open for visitors here in Tampere and in Finland, if you want to go through the ordeal and make a trip. And: lets use that Skype, Messenger — or how about meeting in Second Life, WoW or LotRO even? We have the tools, we just need to start using them. Btw; check out this piece from Times Online: “Travel to America? No thanks”: http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/travel/article3209119.ece

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

3 thoughts on “Not travelling”

  1. Yes, I have been wondering about the employees of Nokia and other ICT companies who fly to just one office meeting to the other side of the continent. Information and communications technology, anyone?

  2. Hey!!! great to read your post and be able to have the possibility to reach and take your decision leaving the door open to visit you as well 🙂

    Life goes way TOO fast. And from my perspective in our “modern” era, with all these ICT, life goes faster and faster. Time management, ICT tools, reduce costs, increase productivity, networking, etc. etc. What a western society?!

    Anyway, maybe to philosophical, but being honest at the end of the day, there is nothing better than to be in real life present with the people we love doing what we enjoy doing and be the best we can do. There can be tons of theoretical fundaments and arguments why to do somethings instead of other. However, just in each individual is the answer and we also know that the only constant thing in life is change and it is up to each individual to know when it is a moment to face a change.

    I am glad that you decided a change, specially for your little one. He and you will appreciate this decision for the rest of your lives. Life is made by moments. In addition you keep on giving a lot once you are happy as well. That keeps you in flow. Then keep the good energy and good gumption with all!

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