History of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner? I was so mesmerized by these few lines of the book that actually portray as if they have been pulled from everyone's inquisitive minds.
"Before 9/11, New York Times columnist Friedman was best known as the author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, one of the major popular accounts of globalization and its discontents.For Friedman, cheap, ubiquitous telecommunications have finally obliterated all impediments to international competition, and the dawning 'flat world' is a jungle pitting 'lions' and 'gazelles,' where 'economic stability is not going to be a feature' and 'the weak will fall farther behind.' Rugged, adaptable entrepreneurs, by contrast, will be empowered. The service sector (telemarketing, accounting, computer programming, engineering and scientific research, etc.), has been outsourced to the English-spoken abroad; manufacturing, meanwhile, will continue to be off-shored to China. As anyone who reads his column knows, Friedman agrees with the transnational business executives who are his main sources that these developments are desirable and unstoppable, and that American workers should be preparing to 'create value through leadership' and 'sell personality.' This is all familiar stuff by now, but the last 100 pages on the economic and political roots of global Islamism are filled with the kind of close reporting and intimate yet accessible analysis that have been hard to come by.
The metaphor of a flat world, used by Friedman to describe the next phase of globalization, is ingenious. It came to him after hearing an Indian software executive explain how the world's economic playing field was being leveled. For a variety of reasons, what economists call ''barriers to entry'' are being destroyed; today an individual or company anywhere can collaborate or compete globally. Bill Gates explains the meaning of this transformation best. Thirty years ago, he tells Friedman, if you had to choose between being born a genius in Mumbai or Shanghai and an average person in Poughkeepsie, you would have chosen Poughkeepsie because your chances of living a prosperous and fulfilled life were much greater there. ''Now,'' Gates says, ''I would rather be a genius born in China than an average guy born in Poughkeepsie.''
What created the word "flat world"? We all say a lot many things about changing the world and believing that all our rights are equal, there's no discrimination at any front of life but how many of us actually are clear with the real meaning of the word "flat".I had been to my homeland recently and the most beautiful question was asked by one of my most respectable Uncle.He simply asked me that since am reading the book "The World is flat ", so now that I am coming to my homeland after a long gap , how do I think that the world is flat ? Isn't that a very important question.Believe me , I could answer by using the jargons of globalisation and all , but then my mind was questioning me that "Do I really have the complete answer to that vital question"? Read this book and it will be an eyeopener to many facets of globalisation.
Friedman emphasizes on the technological forces. Paradoxically, the dot-com bubble played a crucial role. Telecommunications companies like Global Crossing had hundreds of millions of dollars of cash -- given to them by gullible investors -- and they used it to pursue incredibly ambitious plans to ''wire the world,'' laying fiber-optic cable across the ocean floors, connecting Bangalore, Bangkok and Beijing to the advanced industrial countries. This excess supply of connectivity meant that the costs of phone calls, Internet connections and data transmission declined dramatically -- so dramatically that many of the companies that laid these cables went bankrupt. But the deed was done, the world was wired. Today it costs about as much to connect to Guangdong as it does New Jersey.And now goes the tagline of many esteemed organisations that they connect in such a way as to they connect life !!! Phew!! I must say that I am willing to leave this blog post a little incomplete for letting all of the avid readers to go ahead and catch the book that reads the history of globalization of 21st century.
As somewhere read," this book should end up on the front seats of quite a few Lexuses and SUVs of all stripes",it actually is book that may sound a little boring if you don't like to hear the word "history", but then read it once and you will simply owe something to the book! Its a worth read!