Talk these days of the creative economy as soft power and a harbinger of world peace, ignores the huge struggles taking place between Google, Facebook no one hand and Baidu, We Chat, Tencent on the other, pitching the U.S. and China directly against each other in a cold digital war of online platforms, search engines and aggregation algorithms. It is very nice to assert the diversity of cultures in a globalized world. But this diversity is in reality dependent on some very hard issues of finance, intellectual property rights and communications infrastructures.
Sports can't save the world from the effects of global warming or by themselves solve economic inequality in the world economy. For that, politics is required. But with the Olympics approaching, we should remember that a love of sports -- playing, watching, arguing, rooting, buying gear -- is one of the great commonalities of being human.