This is actually a response to the following vlog post:
I'm responding here, because this whole text has more characters than is allowed in the comments, but I placed a a link to my response to the comments.
I understand that I'm responding to a vblog entry 2 years after it has been posted (2009 versus 2011), but I recognized one of my own, pretty old, line of thought in the contemplation that You posted.
To make a long story short: the saying, that every scientist stands on the shoulders of giants, means that one derives new solutions from prior knowledge and it really does not matter, where the knowledge comes from, as long as it helps. Be it other cultures, lessons learned locally, aliens or academia, Hollywood, lessons learned by playing computer games.
My approach is that I just try to pick the most functional solutions and combine them.
As of 2011 I think that in the case of cultures the best solution is a mixture of the following:
- Japanese dedication and aim for perfection, but without the hierarchy and lack of creativity.
- American creativity, non-hierarchical approach and attitude of being active, but without the American style of doing first and thinking later.
- German custom to prefer quality over quantity and a custom to take time for thinking before doing, but without drowning to a sea of rules ultimately having double standards.
- The Finnish custom of keeping every promise, totally strictly, but without the lack of communication.
- Russian way of approaching life, even very difficult situations, with humor and joy, but without the hierarchy and sloppiness and laziness, i.e. one should really work hard and one should never cut corners.
- British directness and openness, but without the snobbishness, laziness and with sensitivity to other people's feelings.
By the way, I'm from Estonia, North-Eastern Europe.