A project conducted at GAMMA, an inter-disciplinary, inter-university think tank in Montreal, suggested that the contentment end of the dimension is more crowded. Air Canada had hired GAMMA to come up with proposals to fill up empty seats they were flying around the globe. One proposal was a triple-S standby ticket. Anyone seeking Sea-Sun-Sand during a cold Canadian Winter could go to the airport and buy, at half price, the next empty seat that was flying to Sea-Sun-Sand. Kimon Valaskakis, the founder of GAMMA, proposed the concept of depaysement as a measure of how much unfamiliarity a person can handle. Air Canada rejected the proposal on the grounds that most people could handle very little depaysement. They want to know where they are going and that a hotel room is waiting there for them. Holiday Inn shares this view. They promise "no surprises". Hilton Hotels share this view - their hotels are the same around the world with only a little decor to identify the country in which they are located. Hence the expression "Are we in the Paris Hilton or the Rome Hilton, dear?" as contented couples go round the world in 30 Hiltons.|
Those who want to immunise themselves from culture shock entirely can stay home. However, no one can stay home from the future. We are all "immigrants in the future" (as Margaret Mead so creatively put it). We cannot escape what Alvin Toffler called "future shock" - that is, culture shock in our OWN culture when change is too fast for us. The two emotions with respect to the future are fear and hope. Anything we can do to replace a climate of fear with a climate of hope will enable us all to move into the future with less fear and more hope.
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