The World Is Flat
The Deceptiveness of Friedman’s Picture in the World is a Flat
In this book named ‘The World is a Flat’, the author Friedman attempts urgently to contend that globalization is a leveler of imbalances in social orders. In any case, when you just take a gander at the trap of network, the snare of neighborhood economies, the internet of data innovation, and decline to take a gander at the snare of life, the nourishment web, and nearby societies which globalization is obliterating, we see that these are extremely deceptive. It is anything but difficult to make false and misleading contentions that the world is flat.
Diminishing the World
When you take a gander at the world roosted on statures of haughty, daze control, isolated and separated from the individuals who have lost their occupations, ways of life, and lives – ranchers and laborers all over – it is anything but difficult to be visually impaired both to the valleys of neediness and the mountains of opulence. Flat vision is an ailment. In any case, Friedman might want us to see his sick, unreasonable flat perspective on globalizations polarizations as an insurgency that means to invert the upsets that enabled us to see that the world is round and the earth goes round the sun, not the a different way.
Friedman has diminished the world to the companions he visits, the executives he knows, and the fairways he plays at. From this microcosm of benefit, prohibition, visual impairment, he closes out the social and environmental externalities of economic globalization and free trade, he closes out both the excellence of assorted variety and the mercilessness of misuse and imbalance, he closes out the dividers that globalization is building – dividers of instability and scorn and dread – dividers of protected innovation, dividers of privatization.
Friedman concentrates just on laws, guidelines and strategies which were the insurances of the powerless and the helpless, on boundaries vital as limit conditions for the activity of freedom and democracy, rights and equity, harmony and security, supportability and sharing of the world’s valuable and crucial assets. What’s more, he sees the destroying of these environmental and social insurances for deregulated business as a ‘straightening’. Be that as it may, this levelling resembles the straightening of urban communities with bombs, the smoothing of Asia’s coasts by the torrent, the levelling of woods and ancestral countries to assemble dams and mine minerals.
Friedman’s conceptualization of the world as flat is precise just as a portrayal of the social and biological pulverization brought about by deregulated business or ‘free – trade’. On each other tally it is mistaken and false. Friedman’s picture of a flat earth is significantly deceptive – a perspective on the world from a seat in business class.
The author brings up that there is a huge pool of potential ability in the world, essentially from immature nations, that won’t probably partake in or exploit the levelling procedure and that there will be too brief period for assistance from hesitant or deficient governments and from too couple of associations and people to change the pattern.
Missing the Inescapability of Worldwide Imbalance
Second, he clarifies that there are numerous who are impaired — the individuals who don’t have the instruments, abilities, or foundation to take an interest for any time span. Third, he keeps up that there will be an expanded worldwide battle for normal assets, bringing about throwing out up, warming, and smoking up, and eating up our little planet quicker than whenever ever.
With the closeness that has come about because of globalization, the author noticed that there are numerous who feel compromised, disappointed, and even embarrassed. The author relates that the fear mongering is generated by the destitution of poise not of cash, and embarrassment is the most disparaged power in universal and human relations. As far as huge, traditional clashes are concerned, the author expresses that nations whose laborers and enterprises are woven into a noteworthy worldwide inventory network realize that they can’t take 60 minutes, seven days, or a month off for war; upsetting ventures and economies around the globe would chance the loss of their place in that chain for quite a while.
Flatness is another method for portraying the transnational quest by organizations for modest work, a picture that misses the inescapability of worldwide imbalance and the way that a great part of the creating world stays buried in neediness and hopelessness. It additionally misses the significance of the worldwide geopolitical chain of command, which ensures the arrangement of strength, property rights, and other global open products. The ascent of China and India is less about flatness than it is about emotional changes in the mountains and valleys of the worldwide geopolitical guide.
Recounting to an uneven story for an uneven intrigue is by all accounts Friedman’s destiny. That is the reason he discusses 550 million youth overwhelming Americans in a flat world. At the point when the whole data technology utilizes just a million out of a 1.2 billion individuals. Nourishment and cultivating, materials and apparel, wellbeing and instruction are no place in Friedman’s monoculture of brain bolted into IT. Friedman exhibits a 0.1% picture and conceals 99.9%. Also, in the 99.9% are Monsanto’s seed imposing business models and the suicides of thousands of wars. In the obscured 99.9% are the 25 million ladies who vanished in high development territories on the grounds that a commoditized world has rendered ladies an unimportant sex.
Round Earth Freedom
The world of the 99.9% has become less fortunate as a result of the economic globalization. Also, it is their rights we battle for. We work to fabricate options for a simply, economical, quiet world – a mutual and basic world – in which our regular humankind and all inclusive obligation joins us in earth democracy. The dividers of prohibition and segregation that globalization has fortified are made by men in power.
Like the Berlin divider, they too should break up, on the grounds that tyrant guideline is conflicting with free social orders, and corporate globalization is a type of tyranny and autocracy which is denying us of our major freedoms and our full human possibilities. What’s more, the world we are recovering and restoring isn’t flat. It is different law based and decentralized, it is feasible and secure for all, in light of participation and sharing of the world’s assets and our aptitudes and inventiveness. The freedom we look for is freedom for all, not freedom for a couple. Free-trade is about corporate freedom and native disappointment.
What Friedman is showing as another evenness is in reality another position framework secured pecking orders of avoidance. In Friedman’s rank framework, the ‘Shudras’, are every one of whose occupations are being looted to grow the business sectors and increment the benefits of worldwide organizations. They are closed out by undetectable social and economic dividers made by globalization while it destroys dividers for assurance of individuals’ employments and occupations.
The people being drawn into the U.S economy through redistributing are not the new Brahmins. They should be happy with one–fifth to one-eighth of the pay rates of their U.S partners, and what is redistributed is snort work, calculating, and institutionalized, mechanical tasks. Re-appropriating is Taylorism of the data age. The control is in the hands of the organizations in U.S. They are the Brahmins who consume information through licensed innovation. Re-appropriating and off-shoring resembles the ‘putting out’ work in the mechanical upset. These are old devices for keeping up exploitative chains of importance – not new flat earth linkages between equivalents, equivalent in innovativeness and equivalent in rights.
Free trade freedom is flat earth freedom. Earth democracy is full earth freedom and round earth freedom – freedom for all creatures to live their lives inside the bottomless, inexhaustible yet restricted limits of the earth. We don’t occupy a world unbounded where unbounded corporate eagerness can be released and permitted to obliterate the earth and deny individuals of their security, their vocations, and their assets. Full earth freedom is conceived in free social orders, formed by free individuals perceiving the freedom of all. Assorted variety is an outflow of full earth freedom. Evenness is a side effect of the nonattendance of genuine freedom. Fascism looks for flatness.
Friedman’s flat vision makes him incognizant in regards to the development of corporate standard to through the principles of corporate globalization as the foundation of tyrant guideline and midway controlled economies. He shows the breakdown of the Berlin divider as having ‘influenced the flat of influence over the world toward those pushing law based, consensual, free-showcase arranged administration, and away from those supporting tyrant rule with midway arranged economies. Citizens’ developments battling globalization advocate majority rule, consensual administration and battle the World Bank and worldwide organizations exactly on the grounds that they are undemocratic and oppressive; they are dictator and brought together.
The Main Ideas Expressed in the World is Flat
Thomas Friedman’s examination of the impacts molding business and rivalry in an innovation filled worldwide condition is a suggestion to take action for governments, organizations and people who must remain in front of these patterns so as to stay focused. As we investigate America’s place in the quick advancing world monetary stage, Friedman presents the issues we face, yet precaution measures and conceivable arrangements. The World is Flat is a recorded and topographical voyage, with stories and tales. Crossing a wide scope of enterprises, societies and schools of thought, this present reality models displayed as proof of his hypothesis are irrefutable. The World is Flat investigates every possibility in a journey for answers to an issue that most can’t characterize. This realism is with regards to the topic of the whole book, in that we should figure out how to get the hang of, instructing ourselves to remain inquisitive and inventive, in the event that we are to exceed expectations in a worldwide economy. As he moves towards the finish of this introduction of his hypothesis, Friedman cautions of the powers that could truly hurt or moderate the smoothing of the world, especially the risk acted by fear monger systems such like Al-Qaeda. His point of view is invigorating in a media driven to a great extent by panic strategies and dread mongering as he empowers a sensible and target way to deal with this risk.
Friedman proceeds to talk about powers that are smoothing the world. He takes note of that when the Berlin Divider fell, the world turned into somewhat compliment. Friedman contends that albeit numerous powers made the Divider fall, the ‘first among equivalents’ was the utilization of data innovation like fax machines to spread data. Friedman at that point talks about the ‘triple assembly.’ The main ‘intermingling’ was that of the flatteners, which gave another playing field to working together. These flatteners have been around for a considerable length of time however after they set up roots, they started to blend with each other.
The second union is the merger of the new playing field with better approaches for working together. Friedman calls attention to that another stage for working together, for example, the development of PCs in the working environment, isn’t sufficient to expand profitability. Friedman contends that the”’winners will be the individuals who gain proficiency with the propensities, procedures, and abilities most rapidly—and there is nothing that promises it will be Americans or Western Europeans for all time driving the way.” Friedman takes note of that there was a second triple assembly that kept individuals from completely understanding that the first was going on. The website bust was ‘wrongly likened’ with the finish of globalization.
Impact of New Innovations and New Technologies in the World is Flat Book
In his book, The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman analyzes how innovation and new technologies, among other factors are “flattening” the world, making interaction and trade between nations more convenient and efficient, making some nations, like China and India more competitive, and revolutionizing the global market. Friedman discusses many complex factors that are, in many ways, interacting with each other to drive further the globalization of what were once more independent national markets, connecting people, groups, and corporations to those far away in different parts of the world. To his credit, Friedman explains these complex factors in play in the creation and transformation of the global market in a well-organized and clear way. I agree with Friedman’s argument that globalization is growing as a phenomenon, shrinking the world and making citizens of every nation more connected than ever before. However, he may be exaggerating its effect on the global economy while underestimating other factors. While I agree that globalization will continue in to have a major impact in many ways, I see some ways in which his argument can be improved.
Thomas Friedman’s main argument is that certain factors have contributed to what he refers to as the “flattening” of the world, interconnectedness of people, groups, and corporations in different parts of the world. He describes 10 factors responsible for the shrinking and flattening of the world.
First, is the fall of the Berlin Wall, which liberated parts of the world that were once isolated like China and India, made the once independent nations to see themselves as part of a global market, and allowed billions of people in those countries to become players in that global market. With this came also the rise of Windows PCs, which united the world in a whole new way, revolutionizing the global market, as this new technology allowed people to connect with people in other nations through the innovations of internet and email.
The next phase of this flattening came about with Netscape. Netscape gave people the first internet browser with which to surf the internet, making it available to everyone. With Netscape, came strong demand for software and networks so people could share pictures, videos, data, and music on the internet. Soon, Windows 95 was created with built in internet support. These two technological innovations used each other to become mainstream and popular and their popularity even more so interconnected the world through the World Wide Web.
The next factor in the world’s flattening was software that allowed machines to talk to each other which improved workflow. More people were allowed to share and work on projects than ever before. While this process took many years and a lot of determination and brainpower, this improvement of workflow on a global scale made the fourth factor, outsourcing, possible. The interconnected global market created a global workforce and, as it has always been, any job will go to the most qualified, most skilled, most experienced, or the cheapest. He also mentions that shared standards is a huge flattener, using Microsoft Word and Paypal as examples. He mentions using a German version of Word to write a book and, after becoming used to the format of Word, he was able to navigate his way through the toolbars and menus despite not knowing the German language the words were in. The interconnectivity that created these shared standards enabled outsourcing and also enabled another flattener, offshoring. Offshoring is the relocation of a business to another country where means of production may be better, cheaper, or both. Outsourcing and offshoring made more people adopt shared standards which also made open source projects like Wikipedia possible and easier, further contributing to the flattening of the world. Supply-chains like Wal-Mart are also a flattener. As they communicate with businesses that sell a product, offering to make the product more accessible to customers and add value, they also force these businesses to adopt shared standards.
Insourcing, of which Friedman cites UPS as the best example, is a synchronizing of global supply chains through logistics, which Friedman calls the tightening of weak links in the interconnected global economy. He claims that with all of the collaboration between many supply chains around the world, if not UPS or FedEx, someone would have had to take the role of packaging and delivering the products being demanded.
The ninth flattener is in-forming, which he cites Google as the most well-known example of. Never before has all of the information known to all of humankind been so easily accessible to each individual, from the most world renown scientist to my grandma. Any information we want to find is available at just the hit of a few keys on a keyboard.
The last flattener he describes he refers to as “the steroids.”They are the “mobile, digital, personal, and virtual” technologies that are “amplifying and turbocharging” the other flatteners, like smartphones for example. Today just about everyone has a smartphone and can connect to the World Wide Web from absolutely anywhere, even while on the go.
Friedman also describes 3 eras of globalization. Globalization 1.0 which started in 1492 when the “Old World” started trading with the “New World” and lasted until about 1800. During Globalization 1.0, nations were the primary players. Globalization 2.0 lasted from 1800 to 2000, though it was interrupted by two World Wars. Its primary players were the growing multinational companies. Globalization 3.0 started in 2000, continuing to this day, and includes the interconnecting of nations and what Friedman calls the “shrinking and flattening of the world.”
Thomas Friedman describes globalization and its factors in the first part of his book and later goes on to explain what America needs to do to stay competitive in a more globalized market, explicitly telling American workers to get a job that they are passionate about, because those are the jobs that won’t be replaced by machines. He tells the reader this, not as a feel good message but as a survival strategy in the ever-changing, ever-evolving global market. He mentions that the change of model in the global market from vertical, which he describes as “command and control,” to a more collaborative, horizontal model will change not only how business is done, but everything else, claiming that political identities will change in the aftermath of globalization, a period he calls, “the Great Sorting Out.” Here, he may be overstating its impact.
However, I do see his point to an extent when he brings up the Dell theory of conflict prevention. Basically, if one nation is collaborating with another nation economically, they are less likely to go to war. As Friedman explains, “The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell’s, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain.” He cites many examples like China and Taiwan. Economic prosperity through political partnership can certainly be a major deterrent to violent conflict between two nations. However, I don’t think that globalization will be an avenue for absolute peace; just peace between nations. I think it will give rise to a different type of war between entities that have no nation-state and thus no allegiance to one, as we have seen recently with the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS.
While I see Friedman’s point that new innovations and new technologies are making the world more interconnected than ever before, I think describing the world as “flat” as he does underestimates geography’s impact on global economics. Geography can play a big part in who gets to benefit from the effects of globalization. There is a massive difference between America and developing countries like Syria, for example, which is likely to continue for many years despite technological advances. Some countries do not have access to these technologies nor can it be afforded. Some countries have oppressive regimes that restrict access to the technologies responsible for globalization. Also, everyone who is born becomes a product of the culture they were born into. Culture can play a large part in a person’s choice of (or being forced into) profession, education, learned skill set, and ultimately who they will become in life. So, I think in this way, Friedman overestimates the force of globalization and at the same time underestimates the impact of geographical location and culture.
The Significance of Steroids as the 10th Flattener in The World is Flat
The World Is Flat
Friedman, in Chapter 2 of The World Is Flat, describes the 10 items or phenomenon that helped flatten the globe and added to our still-globalizing world. The tenth flattener, in his opinion, are the “steroids” of this globalization process. His realization of this stemmed from his trip to Japan, when his colleague Jim Brooke was using his laptop via wireless connection, while travelling on a high-speed bullet train. His beliefs of how vast Japan’s virtual networks were confirmed when Brooke’s colleague Todd Zaun was using his Japanese cell phone, which was capable of connecting to the Internet no matter where he was. This leads to Friedman making note of how greatly expansive and efficient Japan and Ghana’s cell coverage networks were in comparison to those that were present in America, adding to the “amazing degree of wireless penetration and connectivity” (160) found in Japan and the rest of the world today. Friedman then cites examples of how new age tech has made everyday life easier for people in a wide range of situations.
All of this is attributed to the “steroids” within tech development that have pushed globalization beyond its previous limits. They are all considered to be the technological “steroids” of today because “they are amplifying and turbocharging all the other flatteners” (161), including the state of constant improvement—allowing tech to operate at cheaper, faster rates than before, the development of file-sharing—leading to improved linkage and collaboration between people across nations, the invention of multipurpose devices—in which devices are more streamlined and capable of doing more than ever (“your Internet-enabled camera phone is not just a camera; it is also a copy machine, with worldwide distribution material” (170), as Friedman states), the VoIP—voiceover internet protocol service, providing a newer, cheaper, more personal way in which messages can be delivered, breakthrough improvements in videoconferencing—making business interactions much easier and more efficient, and most importantly, the creation of wireless networking—giving us the ability to drop things and then pick them back up anywhere.
This section relates to the whole of Chapter 2 as it explores how these technological “steroids” are leading all the other flatteners and affecting them as well. It is also acknowledged that, without these steroids, many of the other flatteners would not be as developed as they are today. I wholly agree with Friedman’s observations and conclusions, as much of technology as we know it today is continuously being developed based on the stated steroids. These are the driving forces within society, through business competition and consumer demands, that are pushing various companies to reach for new heights with their products. As more of these products become more accessible to more people, the world will continue to “flatten”, to quote Friedman, with the constantly expanding networks through which globalization will continue to spread.
The Global Society’s Development and Changes in the World is Flat
Globalization implications in Friedman’s “Flat World”
In Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat 3.0,” the author discusses the changing in global society from a disunited world to one which is more interconnected. Through careful analysis on the top global issues, Friedman has distilled the most potent “flatteners” that cause our world to connect on a global level, making our planet a more level society. He talks about the ten flatteners of the world: the forces of our changing society that contribute to the shrinking of global society. Some such forces are Netscape, insourcing, outsourcing, supply-chaining, and others.
Friedman has many valid points in regards to Globilization. He talks about a “flat society,” meaning that all people live on a more equal playing field. Forces such as Informing, The Steroids, and Netscape bring people in third world countries or the impoverished in the first world information and connectivity to the rest of the world. However, despite the benefits, the downside is that it can be expensive to keep up to date with technology, and some areas of the world do not have reliable broadband access, which restricts the lowest class from the ability to keep up with the rest of the world as it advances. Outsourcing is also a great way to expand commerce into the third world. A common opposing view is that outsourcing cuts jobs from American citizens, although this may really be part of a larger issue of overpopulation. Lastly, I would not agree with Friedman on his first flattener, the destruction of the Berlin Wall. While I agree that this was a symbol of the world uniting after a century of world wars, I don’t think it can qualify as a flattener for a more technical reason. The other nine flatteners are constantly ongoing forces that continue to develop and bring the world closer together, whereas the destruction of the Berlin Wall was a one time event that functioned more of a launchpad than a continual force.
The Millennium Project defines fifteen global challenges which are the top threats to global society. This provides a plan for governments, private sectors, and NGOs to attack the top global issues in order to create a better world. The list is, in order of most to least critical: Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Clean Water, Population and Resources, Democratization, Global Foresight and Decision Making, Global Convergence of IT, Rich – Poor Gap, Health Issues, Education and Learning, Peace and Conflict, Status of Women, Transnational Organized Crime, Energy, Science and Technology, and Global Ethics. This is a very good guideline for the world’s top challenges, and covers nearly all of the bases. That being said, I would group some of these items differently, and re-order them based on my own personal beliefs.
I agree that “Sustainable Development and Climate Change” should be first on the list. While there are many other imperative challenges facing the world, climate change affects all of us. Though this may come across as selfish, it is an important factor that while millions of people have little to no access to clean water or food, not all people are affected by poverty. However, all seven billion people on the planet are affected by climate change, which makes it a more pressing issue. Furthermore, climate change affects the future of humanity as well, and will only get worse if the current situation does not change. I am glad the the Millennium Project included sustainable development in this category, but I may argue that clean water and energy should be included as well, making the list item a more broad entry of environmentalism. Environmentalism not only combating climate change, but also taking into account the developments in clean and sustainable energy, pollution in air and water, and access to clean water. My next list item would be Education. I believe that most political conflict and discrimination can be solved with proper education. Many terrorist organizations and dictatorships rely on brainwashing and hate preaching, and many conflicts between ethnic groups, such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict stem from improper education about the opposition. My third list item would roll poverty, the rich-poor gap, health issues and hunger into a single challenge. Food and health are both on the bottom tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, meaning that they are physiological human needs that must be satisfied for basic human survival. If the world can focus on these three challenges, a significant betterment in the world would occur.
Globalization is the tendency for governments, multinational corporations, and other organizations to increase connectivity on a transnational level. Governmental forms of globalization include collaborating and forming relationships with each other. The United Nations create international laws so that governments can protect the fundamental human rights of people in other countries. Businesses expand to a multinational level by opening franchises worldwide and outsourcing branches of the company to other parts of the world. Individuals contribute to globalization by becoming more connected with other parts of the world. Technology makes communication, news, and travel between foreign nations much easier, which makes the world seem smaller. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) make the world a more level playing field by providing humanitarian services to all parts of the world. For example, Doctors Without Borders brings advanced medical technology to impoverished third world countries without access to safe medical treatments. This helps poorer parts of the world develop to a more sustainable level in line with the rest of the world.
Globalization is neither a positive nor negative force in today’s society, but rather a tool of our modern age that could be used for both good and bad. My examples above are mostly positive practices of globalization. While many people and organizations use the tool of globalization to do good, there will always be greedy and selfish entities that use the same technology to put themselves higher on the food chain. For example, cyberterrorism, sweatshop labor, and military industrial complexes are all outcomes of globalization. There are also many unintended consequences of globalization. Some civilizations can’t compete with the progress of the rest of society, and fall even further behind.
In this golden age of technology, it often seems as though technology is the be-all and end-all. However, it is important to realize the downsides of technology. Some harmful byproducts of the information age include environmental abuse, safety concerns, and justness. The constant use of electricity has had a severely detrimental effects on the environment. More energy is being consumed and there currently is no efficient sustainable source of clean energy. Another environmental issue caused by globalization is extreme environmental issue in concentrated areas. For example, industrialism in China has lead to severe pollution at record levels. This is a direct result of globalization, as production from many other countries has moved to China. Given enough work and cooperation, it could be possible to create an environmentally sustainable society even despite the level of energy consumption and toxic byproducts in today’s tech-infused world. However, this would require global cooperation, which is very hard to come by in a world rife with political conflict. Even in the United States, it is remarkably difficult to garner bipartisan support on environmental issues. Another hurdle to overcome is the cost of implementing clean energy sources, cleaning existing pollution, and curbing toxic factory byproducts. While I believe that we have the technology to combat environmental issues, it is not feasible until political issues are solved or set aside so that the world can unite.
Globalization has done a lot to help justness and safeness of the world. Our world has a long history of degradation against minorities, women, and the lower class. In the past decade, the progressive movement has enforced fair treatment both legally and socially of all people regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status. With more global media coverage, people know more about unjust conditions around the world. Technology gives individuals and governments more reach to support the discriminated classes of other nations. For the same reasons, it is easier to make the world a safer place. As mentioned before, Doctors Without Borders helps treat people of third world, and western medicine can eradicate deadly diseases. During the ebola epidemic, patients were transported to the United States for treatment. Other unsafe conditions concerning war and violence may take longer to make safer. As globalization continues to bring the world together, violent conflict may be lessened. The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention, which will be discussed more later, says that war and global conflict may be reduced as countries become more economically interdependent.
The essence of the Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention, as explained by Friedman, is that no two countries would declare war on one another if doing so would be mutually detrimental. More specifically, the countries’ economic systems are interconnected through the same supply chain, such that the destruction of one’s economy would lead to a slump in the other’s. To further explore this theory, let us take into consideration the relationship between the United States of America and China. China, a communist country, could be considered a political enemy of the United States. Recent hostility between the two nations, such as the hack on government personnel databases, further proves this point. However, despite the animosity, it is unlikely that America and China will go to war due to their level of interdependence. America relies on China to produce goods, and China relies on America for commerce. A war between the two nations would but such an extreme damper on the other’s economy that engaging in such a war would be comparable to mutually assured destruction.
In theory, this concept makes a lot of sense. A government generally will only enact on operations in its own best interest. That being said, there are some extreme examples in which it may be more logical to go to war or take other offensive measures against a foreign nation. For example, in the year of 2015, the United States has imported approximately 2.5 billion USD worth of goods (presumably composed primarily of oil) from Iraq . This is a drop from 2014 in which we imported nearly 14 billion USD, with similar figures appearing for the past ten years. While 2015 is not yet over, which may account for the significantly lower figure, the monthly average of 2015 is $309 million, which is astoundingly lower than $1.2 billion monthly average of 2014. This timeline coincides with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These figures signify a current example of the United States sacrificing trade and commerce when a more perilous global issue arises.
Is the Technology Contributing to the Flattening of the World?
The World is Flat v Not Flat
Regardless if the world is flat or if it is not, we still have an unprecedented situation to deal with. The world’s economy is being enlarged, or as Thomas Friedman explains, becoming tinier. At this very moment, a fifteen-year-old child in Spain can look at the exact same content as a college professor at Harvard. With this occurring all around the world with even more extreme examples, the question arises, is this good for our world, or can it be devastating? Thomas Friedman argues it is unbelievable for the world and going to send us to reaches we never thought we could attain, however others argue that this flattening has horrific affects as others argue that this flattening does not even exist.
Any individual in the world can access virtually anything. This is causing a revolution of technology, knowledge, relationships, and things never thought possible. Not only does this flattening affect our economy but every single aspect of our lives. In the article Why the World is Flat by Daniel H. Pink, Pink sits down with Friedman and interviews him on his theory of the flat world. Pink asks Friedman about his book as he explains that China and India are parts of the world that are going to greatly influenced by flattening. Friedman replies with an astonishing example: “Bill Gates has a nice line: He says, 20 years ago, would you rather have been a B-student in Poughkeepsie or a genius in Shanghai? Twenty years ago you’d rather be a B-student in Poughkeepsie. Today? ” This exemplifies the key aspect of how the flat world can change lives. The answer is the boy from Shanghai. In the past, only the countries that were atop the wealthiest had abilities to create futures for students and give them proper schooling. However now, anyone with a ten-year-old computer or a phone can access any piece of knowledge on the Internet. Friedman also mentions more support in Pinks article. After Friedman explains how he first got the idea why the world is flat he says, “Several technological and political forces have converged, and that has produced a global, Web-enabled playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration without regard to geography or distance – or soon, even language.” This promotes the stance of why a flat world can give anyone anything. However, anyone can talk about this subject, but can anyone back it up with statistics to prove it?
With all the talk from Thomas Friedman, it is easy to get caught up in the movement of the flattening world. However, is the world as interconnected as Friedman believes it to be? Dr. Pankaj Ghemawat, a professor at IESE in Barcelona, explains that using statistics, we really are not that interconnected at all. We discussed in class that Ghemawat says that only two percent of calls around the world are International, six percent including skype and web chats. This supports the idea that our world is not flat, in fact far from it. If the world is so flat why are only six percent of the calls around the world are international? Also, Ghemawat brings up the idea that maybe immigration could show us how the world is beginning to be flattened. He poses the question, how many first generation immigrants currently are in different countries around the world. The answer is three percent. This is a harsh blow to Friedman’s theory because if it were correct, the “No-boarder effect” would mean there are upwards to one hundred percent immigration. Lastly, Ghemawat uses a term, Globaloney, saying that Friedman is in fact exaggerating the conception of how technology is going to over power all cultural, political, and geographical barriers. Friedman believes that maybe with in the next ten years, technology will be the cause for the flat world. Although it may seem very likely, until the teleporter is invented, geographical barriers will always exist. Cultural and language barriers as well are very hard to overcome although they have a more likely chance of being accomplished.
In contrast to why the world is not flat, Ghemawat had only looked at the exact numbers currently standing, however he had not looked into the past. However, if you look into the past, you may be a little convinced the world is actually flattening. Each of the statistics that Ghemawat found: International calls and immigration as well as technology. These all have increased insanely in the past twenty years and are expected to skyrocket in the future. Although the future is always unknown, Ghemawat may want to prepare for Friedman’s theory, because I think I can feel the world flattening.