Slide 1 Transcript: Friedman’s 10 Flatteners
This is a presentation about Tom Friedman’s book, called The World is Flat. Tom Friedman is a New York Times reporter and columnist who has won three Pulitzer Prizes and has had four or five bestselling books out. He gets some criticism for this book because some people think he’s a cheerleader for Globalization, and those people who are against Globalization don’t particularly like that. I think, in all fairness to Tom, although he’s very enthusiastic about his book and his subject, I think he just recognizes that, like it or not, Globalization is here, and here to stay. So maybe we need to understand it and figure out what we need to do about it, whether we think it’s good, or bad. Slide 2 Transcript: The World is Flat
Here you see two versions of the book. He very cleverly managed to come out with an “updated and expanded” version of the book before it even went into paperback. Within a period of about ten months, a second edition came out. On the right, the cover shows the two ships that are going off the edge of the earth there in a painting called I Told You So. One of the more interesting facts about the book is that the book was published with that cover. The publishers assumed that the picture was an old picture that had gone into the public domain, and that therefore they could use it on the cover. As it turned out, that wasn’t true, it actually was a relatively recent painting and they wound up getting into trouble with a copyright violation. So they changed the cover to be like the cover there on the left. It’s hard to see in this picture and on the cover itself: what it is is like a coin that shows the globe on it, so it’s as if you had a globe about the size of a silver dollar and put it into one of those coin presses that you see at carnivals and pressed it down into the size of a coin.
The idea of the book is the concept of there being a level playing field. It used to be that the industrial nations—including the United States, Europe and Japan—seemed to have a great advantage over the rest of the world, and if you were born in a place like India or China, for example, your chances of having a better life were much less than they would have been had you been born into an industrial economy. In this particular book, the thesis is that the earth has flattened, it doesn’t matter where you were born, and that people in the United States and Europe and Japan have to compete with people in India and China on an equal footing now. Slide 3 Transcript: 1. & 2. Historic Events
Tom thinks there were two important historic events. The first is actually two in itself, he calls it “When the Walls Came Down and the Windows Went Up”, and this was the fall of the Wall in Berlin. The end of global communism as a great adversary of the West. And the rise of Windows ®. Six months later, Windows 3.0 [“three dot oh”], which is the Windows that runs desktop computers, came out. I think he stuck the two together primarily because it made a clever turn of phrase. He’s big at picking up these turns of phrase like “The walls went down and the windows went up”, but he said those two historic events were extremely important.
And then the second one was the idea that Netscape ®, which was the original browser, the first big, successful browser for the World Wide Web, went public. That being the concept that started the dot com boom, which started a worldwide boom in fiber optics, such that being in Beijing was the same as being in Brooklyn, in that communications between people became that great. So he sees these two historic events as great shapers of the 21st Century and beyond. Slide 4 Transcript: 3. Workflow Design
The third factor that Tom cites is what he called “workflow design and the rise of workflow software”. This is the ability for applications to connect with each other—for...