Wednesday, 22 May 2019

heritage tourism

In what smacks very much as an unholy alliance that turns over a rock to reveal that there’s already a booming genealogical travel industry, one problematic force of the gig-economy that’s turned gentrification into overdrive and percolated a housing crisis in the popular destination of the moment that’s proving very hard to recover from and another DNA analysis service that’s demonstrated some serious problems with confirmation bias and sampling-size form a partnership to make holiday-suggestions based on one’s ancestry—for those wanting to rediscover their roots.
Family histories can of course be fascinating, enlightening and humbling—to help us all realise that each of us has been uprooted and transplanted in one way or another, but this method and the package it promises does not strike me as the advisable way to dig around in the past. It’s a huge dissonance that we’ve cushioned ourselves to such a great extent to maintain our distance from others and avoid interaction or betraying intent, and yet we will invite strangers into our homes and automobiles and hope they’ll judge us well. What do you think? The two companies pledge that data about one’s DNA and travelogue won’t cross but I can’t see how that can be prevented. We’d all like to be able to extemporaneously share our narratives and autobiographies (especially when they reaffirm our uniqueness) and perhaps have a dramatic reunion with long-lost cousins, but I don’t think that journey is one that ought to be short-circuited though marketing gimmicks and cynical ploys for horizontal monopolies on one’s aspirations.