Immigration, Visas, …

lock… and the decaying remnants of a European colonial world-view.

I have a lot of incoherent and often contradictory thoughts on the topic of immigration, visas, and passport control.

I’m hoping that one day I’ll land a clear and concise view on the topic.

In the meantime, I’m finding it harder and harder to understand the reason for the continuation of visas and passport control.

We share one world

First, a simple perspective. Communication and access to information happens at the speed of light. Goods and services are available to international audiences. You can pick up a phone and talk to your friend on the other side of the earth.

It is right in front of your face, we are one people sharing the same earth.

And yet, if one person wants to physically go to the other side of the earth to continue a conversation started via phone or Internet, they will hit a border of passport control and immigration, a centuries old concept better suited for feudal kingdoms than our modern world.

By sheer luck of where you were born, this one variable will determine where you can travel and where you can do business in-person.

It’s stupid, unethical, and racist

Restricting the physical presence of certain individual based not on merit but right of birth, is plainly stupid.

Most of our current political borders are the direct remnants of centuries old European colonial borders– this is even more stupid.

In a sense, where you can travel or work in this modern age is directly determined by where you were born according to mostly arbitrary lines drawn by crusty old white guys 200-600 years ago. I apologize for being dismissive of important historical events and the many natural cultural borders, but we are enforcing centuries old policies in a world where they clearly no longer apply.

Being forced against your will to stay in the area of your birth, is ostensibly unethical. And yet this happens every day with varying degrees of restrictions — and the type of restrictions, ranging from absolute to silly paperwork, are also based on where you happen to be born.

Realpolitik

I understand there are practical realities of why things are the way they are– and yet, I can’t help but to think this is a non-sustainable practice that in our lifetimes will be reduced to lame bureaucracy and then further reduced to nothing.

Corporations are quick to exploit human labor and slowly erode this outdated notion– hiring migrant workers from less wealthy countries is hardly a new concept. But I have to ask, why is this acceptable while freely traveling is not?

I suspect our future world-view will look back on passport control and visas with the same kind of embarrassed disdain that we currently reserve for imperialistic colonialism or manifest destiny.

I imagine a day where all humans are free to travel and free to work where they have the will and the want. Where people can move as freely as ideas– and human rights and dignity apply to all humans, regardless of where you happen to be born.

Food in Jars

At first I thought, that’s clever, my hosts keep cereals and other foods in hermetic jars.

A day later I have decided it is genius!

I am used to cereal packaging that is bright, colorful and designed to be exciting– as if to jump out of the shelf and into your hands. Your shelf starts to look like a rainbow exploded in a toy chest and less like human consumable food. The aesthetics of an average pantry are horrendous to say the least.

I found it wonderfully serene to pour a bowl of cereal from a transparent jar– I could see the food that I was about to eat. There were no distractions. Eating cereal became a calm experience.

My lesson for the day: Storing food in an air-tight jar is both practically advantageous and it restores the aesthetic to your pantry.