When Centuries Collide

Spirits haunt the millennium's last hours as a new global order takes shape

In Shanghai, just behind the area where elderly couples gather each day at dawn to go through the ghostly motions of Tai Chi, cranes are busy erecting the world's tallest building, to go with the tallest tower in Asia and the largest department store on the continent. In downtown Toronto, on a jam-packed sidewalk, a blue-robed Chinese monk is knocking clappers ceremoniously together. Amid all the promiscuous minglings of our mishmashed global order, the most confusing ones often arise not when cultures clash but when centuries do, with their different senses of time. The modern Everyplace is the wall of a...

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