China has given the world a demonstration of their claim on the future. The opening ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics are unrivaled – and will remain unrivaled for generations. The grandeur of the Chinese coming out party was a delicate mix of technology and humanity.
At the center of the spectacle was “The Bird’s Nest.” The Olympic Stadium is a technological marvel, designed ironically to showcase human endeavor. The opening ceremonies highlighted this harmonious marriage. Fifteen-thousand individual people participated as actors on the world stage. The showcase of fifteen thousand people acting harmoniously to accomplish the visual effect of a single motion gives hope to the future of mankind.
The statement of the Chinese is that individuals must work together. One might even surmise that the overall message is that the individual does not matter except in the context of the whole. That is the world of the 21st Century. People no longer exist on self sustaining farms – immune to the global economic weather.
This dichotomy of individual versus community raises it’s ugly head every day in modern America. The Constitution of the United States contains a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is designed for individual protection from community intrusion. Individual rights of freedom of expression, self protection, freedom to worship, and property rights all point to personal self-evident truths.
The opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics point to a new ideal which will be difficult to ignore. The design of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium appears random – but each piece of steel works to support the whole – Is this an analogy to the world community of the future – with each person being a part of a whole?
The Discovery Channel has a wonderful program on the technology of the Bird’s Nest. Irony abounds as individual pieces, individual joints, work in harmony to create the whole. Check it out: