40% Epic Games
100% Riot Games
Hollywood has also been moving in this direction, with a lot of Chinese investment in the studios, and blockbusters adding special scenes with Chinese actors and locations.
What does it mean for America when it's no longer the owner or creator of culture? It's historically one of our largest (and most important) exports. I'm not sure if that claim to fame is a net positive for the world, but the changing of this guard will certainly have a local impact.
I'm just not yet totally sure what it means, broadly.
>Believe me I know it's not easy.
IKR! Seeing rude comments like that outta nowhere really grinds gears. Please let me know if you have banned me :)
That premise is no more valid today with China than it was at the height of Japan-takes-over-the-world mania.
Japan via Sony accumulated a large ownership position in US music. Sony acquired Columbia Pictures in 1989 for $3.4 billion, a huge deal at the time. Nintendo and Sega took over US video gaming from Atari. What did it mean? Nothing as it turns out.
I don't think it will go the way it did with Japan.
Inflation adjusted their GDP was nearly as large in 1995 as China's is today. They did that with 1/11th the population. China will never accomplish something that dramatic economically.
Japan held a lot more influence over the US at the time precisely because we were allies. China will never be allowed to acquire large numbers of important US companies (and vice versa), because we're unlikely to ever be allies. Japan's holdings of the US national debt back then as a % were also far greater than China's position is today.
In 1991, it was Japanese billionaires dominating the global richest 50 list. Taikichiro Mori and Yoshiaki Tsutsumi were the two richest people in the world, at $15b and $14b. That's nothing like what is occurring today, American billionaires are dominant.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was the Japanese corporate giants that ruled the global economy. Today it's American corporate giants by a large margin. China's giants mostly can't leave their own borders and never will. The regressive command economy straight-jacket - mixed with political doctrine-based restraints - that their companies are permanently ruled by, won't allow it.
China's leverage today is not orders of magnitude greater than Japan at its economic peak. Asia as an example was far poorer across the board in 1985-1995 than it is today, Japan towered over Asia economically in a way China never will. In 1985, South Korea's GDP per capita was 20% that of Japan; China was 2.5% that of Japan; and so on.
"China will never accomplish something that dramatic economically."
What China's accomplished in reducing extreme poverty, given their starting point under the Mao regime, is nothing short of miraculous. It has far wider reaching lessons for developing countries than Japan's post-war boom does.
"China's giants mostly can't leave their own borders and never will. The regressive command economy straight-jacket..."
When you have a billion + people, it makes sense to focus on that market first. Anyway, the US wouldn't be warning partners about Huawei if their equipment wasn't a key part of most nations' telecom infrastructure already.
Maybe rather than complaining about it, we should actually build things?
Maybe we should pay a schoolteacher more than 1/4 what an advertising optimizer makes?
We sell everything to the highest bidder, buy from the cheapest supplier, but then when it's a Chinese company investing it's suddenly a cultural crisis?
If a German company was buying part of Reddit, would it be the same cultural crisis?
Appreciate the great conversation had in this thread, as it helped inform my thinking.
A broader perspective on the world
Also note in the 1980's the Japanese were buying up a lot of Hollywood.
In the US alone, this can very wildly between cities, counties, states, etc. What it means to be American in Idaho is something quite different to what it means to be American in Hawaii.
> Cuisine, fashion,
Cuisine seems to be universalized in the west. Everyone eats the same stuff, driven mostly by availability and cost. Regional cuisines seems to me 90% scam fed to tourists, 10% something you might find yourself enjoying on a holiday. Fashion, similarly, is almost in lock-step everywhere around the western world; everyone wears the same stuff, and regional clothing is something again fed to tourists, and sometimes seen during festivities.
Far from it. I think you take a narrow view of what cuisine is. It's not just foods; it's preparation methods, it's how you eat them, it's where you get them, it's the cultural significance placed upon them, it's the stereotypes associated with them, it's
It's not just food cooked at home nor restaurant food; it's fast food, it's the localised version of what should be American once it hits foreign shores, it's the Americanised version of what should be foreign once it hits American shores, it's the localised version of the Americanised version of the foreign thing.
It's the snacks that you eat, it's the soda you drink, it's the choice of flavours, it's the stereotypes associated with those — the very idea that Mountain Dew goes with Doritos, the very fact that Mountain Dew is sufficiently in peoples' consciousness instead of another drink.
Examples to follow:
> Everyone eats the same stuff
I really doubt Americans know what a meat pie, in the New Zealand sense, is, the significance of them to a typical New Zealand childhood, or the knowledge that there's nothing quite as tasty as getting one from a petrol station. Even if they are acquainted with putting beef mince and chunks of cheddar cheese inside a flaky pastry, I doubt it occurs to any to consider it a handheld snack. I'm sure a French person is more likely to reach for a Croque Monsieur any day.
Brits put completely different condiments on fish and chips than New Zealanders do. We wouldn't dream of combining that dish with vinegar and mushy peas, and they wouldn't dream of putting it with tomato sauce. Neither of us, on the other hand, would dream of putting it in a basket; that's much more American, since the rest of the world is content with old newspapers for wrapping. My South African husband tells me they don't always fillet the fish over there; on the other hand, coming to New Zealand nearly twenty years ago was the first time he'd seen batter on a sausage with a stick shoved up the bottom, what we call "hot dogs" but Americans call "corn dogs".
By the way, it's "takeaways" for us, not "take out". It seems like it's only a word, but it actually carries a different connotation as to what constitutes as food suitable for going out to eat and bring home; it's never quite right unless it's a Chinese family yelling sweetly to each other in Cantonese, a combination of traditional and Americanised 'Chinese' food jumbled up on a menu that is ultimately ignored in favour of the $20 fish and chip special. If we do go to the big fast food chains, we certainly don't have biscuits with our KFC (because they don't sell those), nor does our Maccas (that's McDonald's to most of you) offer poutine like they do in Canada, chicken wings like they do in Asia, and nor will anybody outside of New Zealand ever quite know what a Georgie Pie is — something so near and dear to New Zealanders of a certain age's hearts, to dismiss it as yet another fast food item is to spit in the aforementioned poutine in front of a Quebecker.
Even American candy is different when it hits different regions. I've not seen a local offering that tastes of whatever 'Blue Raspberry' is supposed to be, but it seems to be that every candy has a blue raspberry flavour in the States. A friend of mine is sending candies that taste of cinnamon, something that would seem completely foreign outside of a speciality store here. Even then, I keep saying 'candy'; I should be using the local lingo, they're lollies.
Our Coke is much less sweet than in America, so we use it for different things, different occasions. We mix it with raspberry-flavoured fizzy drink (not 'soda') to add more sweetness; we don't typically flavour things with cherry. We know what it means to "drink the Kool-Aid" but the reference is completely imported via Jonestown; no gullible person in my country is said to "drink the Raro", just as I'm sure Kia Ora or Jungle Juice is not the exclusive domain of British suicide cults.
Don't even start me on food from the American South. My friend swears up and down to me that deep-fried pickles are a thing, and I just can't see it. I hear that tea, being sweet, is "sweet tea" there and the default form of tea; the nations of the Commonwealth do put sugar in their tea sometimes, but not to the same extent. Tea is for a cloud of milk, not for twice as much sugar as in a bottle of (American) Coke!
While we're on it, biscuits are little circular discs of goodness, so are cookies, and scones are bready things. When Americans talk about chicken and biscuits, the idea just fails to parse in practically everybody else's minds.
> Fashion, similarly, is almost in lock-step everywhere around the western world
High fashion, perhaps, but that's because it's ruled by European fashion houses anyway. In businesses, sure, because business fashion is almost a sort of uniform.
Meanwhile, the style on the street, depending on the street, can be quite different. What the typical New Zealander wears in the summer might frighten a typical American. Our summer get-ups are frequently incompatible with the American "no shirt, no shoes, no service", such that we'd never get into any establishments over there were we to bring our fashion with us on holiday.
If I fail to put shoes on in a New Zealand city, the only thing people will wonder is if my feet are cold if the temperature drops below 20°C. In Australia, make that 24°C. In any other major Western nation's cities, I'm either poor, on drugs, or a complete maniac whose flouting of social conventions around decency are so flagrant that my failure to think of the children will warrant deportation! — or so goes the stereotype, which can only exist because ideas around fashion differ so much.
There's plenty yet to explore on those two topics alone that I've not covered. These things are far from universalised. In a world where an American or British tourist can get their home comforts quite easily overseas, it might seem that way; the New Zealander who simply wants the childhood favourite of a Marmite (our stuff, not the runny British gunk) sandwich on a slice of Vogel's bread whilst travelling around, we're shit out of luck; the realisation will hit us much faster than our cuisine isn't your cuisine.
For me, this will be made all too apparent when I completely fail to find a pair of jandals to make shod my offensively bare feet — only to realise I should be asking for flip-flops.
Not sure if you're doing this intentionally, but these are all the things Americans definitely don't share in common or agree on, even within the same cities and states. In fact, we have never disagreed more on the subjects you listed. Largely because individuals have become increasingly atomized due to the internet age and a multitude of socioeconomic trends.
In fact, I'd posit that it's not very likely that the average american shares much with his neighbor culturally, outside of entertainment, even if they superficially seem to have a lot in common. It's more common to seek out a specific group(or faction) that you can relate to, than to form a local offline community with people physically near you.
>What it means to be American in Idaho is something quite different than what it means to be American in Hawaii
And yet there are all sorts of people in both Idaho and Hawaii. Many of whom agree on little and share almost nothing in common. I'd bet that even in a small town in Idaho very few citizens would agree with more than two of the things you listed.
In general, I'd have to agree with the person you're responding to: shared, common American culture is mostly the lowest common denominator entertainment we get through TV and Internet. For example, recognizing references from "The Office"
Don't say things like this. If you have a problem with my argumentation, then just say it; don't couch it in weasel words.
As it happens, I addressed the assertion that people are different. Of course people are different, between individuals, between cities, between regions, between states, etc. You then proceeded to refute that very point, so I'm not sure what your thesis is. Is there a vast, shared culture or not?
Well, obviously, I say there is.
The word 'culture' doesn't dictate that everybody has exactly the same mentality, a mistaken line of thought which is very sharply indicated by your assertion that people from a small Idaho town wouldn't 'agree' with more than two of the highly general potential cultural artefacts I listed. People don't 'agree' with cultural artefacts; they participate in them, their world views are informed and shaped by them; their ideas of right and wrong, correct and incorrect, acceptable and unacceptable, healthy and unhealthy, proper and perverse, are all developed by cultures of all sizes: from the micro of the family, the neighbourhood, and the city to the macro of the state or the nation.
Whether all or even the majority of Americans are adherent to the full sum of a describable "American culture" is not the question, and it was never my thesis that it was. If I made any assertion, it's that Americans, as a whole, still adhere to at least some of the tenets of some overaching American culture, something distinct enough that it could be identified by outsiders, taking an etic point of view, as unmistakably 'American' when sufficient cultural artefacts become apparent enough.
It's embedded in the language, in the way people speak, the choice of language they use, their insults, their slurs, their forbidden words, their spelling; it's embedded in the way they interact with others, the space that is kept between interlocutors, the way that strangers are treated, the relationship between a manager and his or her subordinate, and what constitutes professional courtesy; it's in the way that money is spent, the willingness to give a tip, to donate, to accept paying things at retail place, to argue when something costs too much, to seek reparation when overcharged, the wherewithal to demand to see whoever is in charge; it's embedded in manners, the use of 'please' and "thank you", the offence caused to people from other cultures who use 'please' and "thank you" in different ways, how people should address each other.
There are so many more aspects of culture that I really think you're failing to see because, from an emic point of view, as a participant of the culture, you have no clue that they even constitute your culture.
But even if you could identify them, cultural artefacts aren't items on a checklist, whereby only by ticking 80% or more of the boxes does one belong to the culture.
Think more high for it exists, it's still relatively vast, and it's deep; some Americans might only dip a toe in it, others might be positively drowned in it, and I'd be willing to say anybody who claims "people only recognise internet memes and references from 'The Office'" are more firmly in the latter camp than the former, unbeknownst to themselves.
There is not a vast shared culture outside of the lowest common denominator: popular entertainment.
>Don't say things like this. If you have a problem with my argumentation, then just say it; don't couch it in weasel words.
Humor can be cryptic online these days. I wanted to make sure you weren't making a joke that went over my head. In my view religion, social norms, etc are all over the place in this country, to the point where there's nothing unifying at all. I wasn't sure if you were sarcastically signaling that we shared the same presuppositions.
Granted, it wasn't always like this, with American culture. I'd concede if you weren't talking about the present, but we live in a multicultural country now. It's no doubt a good thing, but I think "American culture", as you described it, is an antiquated concept that died in 20th century.
>If I made any assertion, it's that Americans, as a whole, still adhere to at least some of the tenets of some overaching American culture, something distinct enough that it could be identified by outsiders, taking an etic point of view, as unmistakably 'American'
Outside of pop culture, I really don't know anything that would be "unmistakably 'American'" other than being a consumer/unit of GDP that speaks English (as a second language in my case) in a certain geographic area. It's possible I just haven't experienced what you're talking about. I live in downtown Miami, not a white suburb of California, but I have traveled around our country quite a bit.
>It's embedded in the language, in the way people speak, the choice of language they use, their insults, their slurs, their forbidden words, their spelling; it's embedded in the way they interact with others, the space that is kept between interlocutors, the way that strangers are treated, the relationship between a manager and his or her subordinate, and what constitutes professional courtesy; it's in the way that money is spent
This is just capitalism and English. See above.
>what constitutes professional courtesy; it's in the way that money is spent, the willingness to give a tip, to donate, to accept paying things at retail place, to argue when something costs too much, to seek reparation when overcharged, the wherewithal to demand to see whoever is in charge; it's embedded in manners, the use of 'please' and "thank you", the offence caused to people from other cultures who use 'please' and "thank you" in different ways, how people should address each other.
This all varies quite a bit among hispanic, whites, asians, and african americans. No cohesion here.
>There are so many more aspects of culture that I really think you're failing to see because, from an emic point of view, as a participant of the culture, you have no clue that they even constitute your culture.
Maybe, but I think we grew up in demographically different "Americas".
Makes no difference. That simply means the widespread culture is evolving.
> I think "American culture", as you described it, is an antiquated concept that died in the 20th century
You're free to think what you like, but that doesn't make you any more correct. Again, culture isn't static; why are your ideas about it?
> This is just capitalism
Nope. There are plenty of capitalist nations around the world, all with completely different ideas about what's worth spending more for, what constitutes a good deal, whether it's worth demanding to see the manager, etc.
By way of example: haggling, for instance, is very much _not_ a thing in my country. It's seen as incredibly rude. Ditto for tipping, it's not expected by the staff and patrons don't expect to give one. Paying by cash, seen in my country as a bit old fashioned and fuddy-duddy; on the other hand, paying by credit card is a little bizarre. In America, the opposite or something close to it is true; at the very least, the social acceptability of such actions differs to an appreciable extent. Those are examples of cultural artefacts.
> and English
Again, no. Linguistic norms, politeness, courtesy, and all that sort of thing are very different amongst English-speaking countries, even the US and Canada. Yet, widespread, generalisable norms are to be found in America alone that differ from the rest of the world; I gave an example, the use of 'please' and "thank you".
People from Commonwealth countries tend to think Americans don't say 'please' or "thank you" enough; on the other hand, Americans wouldn't dream of saying "thank you" in the same places that British people might.
Anyway, try telling a sociolinguist that "the English language" is global enough to not be used differently between nations. Language is one of the strongest markers of cultural belonging, and the way that Americans, in general, use English isn't limited to trivial things like whether colour (correctly) has a 'u' in it.
> This all varies quite a bit among hispanic, whites, asians, and african americans. No cohesion here.
Again, who is talking about cohesion? You're still under the impression that culture means everybody has to be of the same mindset, as opposed to finding generalisable-yet-shared facets that are common to the largest population of a given group available.
The group in question is Americans, overall.
Again, not a checklist.
> Maybe, but I think we grew up in demographically different "Americas".
I'm not American. I'm from New Zealand. The values of America, the habits, the behaviours, the attitudes, the fashions, the foods, the tastes, the festivals, the celebrations, the commiserations, the way people interact — they are markedly different than here in New Zealand.
And yes, of course there are differences — between people grouped by race, religion, affiliation, their hometown, their current city, whatever state they're in — but the overall, generalisable cultural artefacts are what they are.
If you're only going to point out the differences between individuals or micro-groups, and ignore things at the macro level, then you're not talking about culture at all. I believe the reason is that, as hinted by your notion that "American culture" is something that has the ability to become 'outdated', you think culture is prescriptive: that to be American means ascribing to certain values, certain ideals, certain beliefs.
Yet, culture is not concrete. Culture evolves, it reforms, it absorbs: the multicultural nature of America adds to the culture, transforms it, and makes it something new — but still American.
Culture is descriptive. It is impossible for it to become 'outdated' unless the very idea of an American people is outdated; that is not one that has yet proven to have fallen by the wayside.
Additionally, American culture is exported so heavily through entertainment and literature, books, films, television, and so on, that its saturation around the world might feel like everything that was once so American is now global. I assure you, this is not the case; for our cultures, in all other nations around the world, are just as adept at taking what we like of American culture and discarding the rest, keeping our cultures ours.
I think that's pretty unnecessarily cynical.
It's all around you. It's in the people: their beliefs, their charity, their hopes, their parents, their children, their food, their routines, their compassion, their striving. 330 million people and dozens of major cultural sub-groups, it's extraordinarily rich.
Nationalistic swipes are not ok on HN. Please don't post like this again.
Edit: looks like we've had to warn you about this before. We ban accounts that do this repeatedly, so can you please take the spirit of this site to heart more? Obviously we can't have people slurring other countries or peoples and have this forum remain civil and substantive.
China's IP theft isn't some conspiracy theory: https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-deploys-new-tactics-to-curb...
To say that China steals is not a fallacy or an exaggeration in the slightest.
You don't have to read all that, but we do need you not to post any more comments like you did upthread. Blowing up inflammatory territory does no one any good.
In AI they seem to be at the late stages of stealing.
The top two films in the global box office last weekend were both Chinese (The Wandering Earth, $172m and Crazy Alien, $77m). Chinese blockbusters seem to just flip American tropes (The Chinese coming to save the day Rambo style).
I doubt they'll do any overt censoring (eg. "no talking about what happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989), but I wouldn't be surprised if they do subtle manipulation like silently deemphasizing anti-China content, or emphasizing anti-westnern content (eg. infighting, failure of western democracy). The latter probably would probably even good for the site (in terms of engagement) as outrage drive cilcks.
They also forced GAP to remove a proper map of China that accurately displays its sovereign borders off a sweater, and then, heinously, forced it to release a map that incorrectly displays Taiwan as a portion of Chinese territory through GAP marketing channels. (Incidentally, if anybody has the correct map in male's M, I'm buying, and willing to pay dearly)
China will go to overt lengths to push their lies on the world.
Tencent, qq, weibo, Baidu, Alibaba, taobao, and I'm sick of typing but the list goes on.
It started with protectionism but pride goes before the fall as they say.