Absolutely true. It used to be a thing to leave England or North America and do a tour abroad, “The Grand Tour” if you were a rich kid. Then hair and fares came down, and everyone did it … backpacking as a way of life, at least up to age 30 or 50. We had a good decade or so of Americans who gained a tad of international perspective. What happened? Now we have the idiocy of privileged Elon Musketeers mirroring the stupidity of culturally deprived Donnie Trumpeteers. A mirror also in that all they see are their reflections. If you don’t leave N.A. you _know_ Uber and Musk and Jobs were/are these incredible innovators. Hey, guess what, all the innovation is in marketing and PR. Easy Taxi is the world’s most downloaded and used taxi hailing app. Nokia was five years ahead of anyone in smartphones with patents worth 6 billion USD according to a WSJ article from 18 July 2012. Musk doesn’t know the first thing about batteries except that Panasonic is a reliable supplier. And then there’s that research lab called Parc that both Jobs and Gates visited for some unknown reason that has nothing to do with the subsequent development of graphical user interfaces by Apple and MS, and everything to do with the NDA not having been invented yet.

When I was ten I attended an ordinary public school in Vienna for three months where I was shocked to be taught that Austrians invented the automobile, the sewing machine and other revolutionary technologies that I knew were American inventions. Could my teacher really have said that? Was I just confused by a new German idiom? I had read the biographies of all the great American inventors, so I knew who was right.

It didn't occur to me that American libraries only had biographies of American inventors.

And I didn't have the perspective to understand much less agree with a statement like “culture is what you take for granted.”

When you live in a new country you can’t take anything for granted. Get used to it. It’s called freedom.

How, hi are you? I’m a writer living in rural Japan. My writing expresses the spirit of living the way I do or did — in consensual reality and otherwise.

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