APHG Summer Writing assignment
The World is Flat
By: Thomas L. Friedman
1. What is it about the flat world that both excites Friedman and fills him with dread? Friedman gets excited because the flattening of the world means that we as people who inhabit Earth are collecting all of our knowledge and putting it together into this worldwide network. By doing this we would start to emerge ourselves in an era of prosperity, innovation, and collaboration, by company’s communities, and individuals. Friedman states that is if terrorism and politics do not get in the way. The flattening of the world also fills him with dread both on a personal and professional level. On a more personal level it fills him with dread because with this flat world it not only opens up the playing field for the “software writers and computer geeks” to connect with each other in the workplace, but also opens up opportunities for the AL-Qaeda and many terrorist networks. Everything is being leveled to where anyone can very easily become empowered.
2. What does Friedman mean by Globalization 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0? In the book Friedman talks about how he means that these three numbers are the specific eras in time that globalization was prevalent. Globalization 1.0 (1492 when Columbus set sail, opening trade between the “Old World” and “New World” until around 1800. This era made the world appear from a large scale to just an average medium scale. The main focus and effect of Globalization 1.0 was the competition between countries over how much muscle, horsepower, wind power, or steam power your country had and how creatively you install and carry this “muscle” out. In this era, countries found inspiration through religion and imperialism. Soon enough time led to the growth of global integration. Globalization 2.0 (around 1800-2000 interrupted by the Great Depression and World Wars). This era shrank the world from the average medium to a very small. The main focus that changed this era was the help of the growth of global integration with multinational companies. The multinationals went worldwide for markets and labor. This was the beginning of the industrial revolution. The first half of this era relied on transportation costs, due to the steam engine and railroads powered by the global integration. The second half of this era, global integration was influenced by telemiscommunication costs due to the outburst of the telegraph, telephones, the PC, satellites, fiber-optic cable, and the early version of the World Wide Web. In this era the growth of a global economy was very, very prevalent. Transportation of goods and information between continents were well established in this area. “The dynamic forces behind this era of globalization were breakthroughs in hardware form steamships and railroads in the beginning to telephones and mainframe computers toward the end”, says Friedman. Lastly, Globalization 3.0 is currently shrinking the world from a very small to a very VERY tiny and flattening the “playing field”. This specific era is different from the rest in the sense of its unique characteristic of a newfound power for individuals to collaborate and compete worldwide. According to Friedman, the phenomenon that is enabling and empowering individuals and small groups to go global so easily and so seamlessly is what I (Friedman) call the flat-world platform. This era also started in the year of 2000. This era is all about empowering individuals worldwide.
3. What is the “flat-world platform,” what are it’s three components, and what makes it so empowering for individuals? The “flat world platform” is enabling, empowering, and enjoining individuals and small groups to go global easily and seamlessly in Friedman’s eyes. The flat world platform makes it so empowering for individuals because it levels the playing field for everyone in the sense of the world gets smaller and our technology and software resources get...
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