Matt HealeyThursday,27 December 2012

The Snap:

I have spent the last two years living in Singapore. I transferred over for work, as I figured that the future of tech would be Asia — not the US or EMEA. Clearly it would not be EMEA. After all, the future of Europe is a perpetual welfare state financed by the Germans, until they get sick of working until they are 70 to pay for Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese to retire at 40. Overall I found the experience was very good, and I am glad I did it.

The Download:

Asia is a very different place from the U.S. The main differences are in the approaches to individual rights. The west is an individual-centered culture. The unit is the individual and as a result, individual freedoms are paramount. The U.S. thinks that this is the only way, and that anything else leads to repression. However, a lot of Asia is a society-based culture. The fundamental unit is society, and as a result, a cohesive society is paramount. The difference between these two is the important to understand. It explains the difference in approaches between the west and the east. This is why relationships are so much more important in Asia than they are in the west.

The important thing to realize about these two systems is that neither is intrinsically better or worse than the other. The western system that prizes individualism results in greater innovation, more risk-taking and more creativity. However, it also results in greater conflict and strife. Many Asian systems result in less conflict, but less independent thinking. For anyone who is living or working across boundaries, these differences are important to understand and respect.

Hat tips:

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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