The World Is Flat : A Brief History Of The Twenty First Century By Thomas L. Friedman

The World Is Flat : A Brief History Of The Twenty First Century By Thomas L. Friedman

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Book Review

I read the book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman. Freidman makes a lot of interesting points throughout the book that describes the “flattening” of the world. He believes our advancements in technology have brought us to a point in history where individuals can collaborate and compete globally.

In chapters 1-4, Friedman, while on a tour of Infosys Technologies Limited in India, is stunned the campus has constructed glass and steel buildings and is equipped with advanced technologies such as large flat-screen televisions. Later that day, Freidman visits an Indian call center filled with 2,500 young people each selling items or providing customer service support over the phone for various companies. Each customer support representative is trained to speak in different accents such as American, Canadian, or British. Then Friedman visits Dalian, a port city in northeast China, which has become a rapidly developing high-tech city that is home to companies including GE, Sony, Microsoft, and Dell. Friedman returns to his home in Bethesda, Maryland and grows progressively more shocked by the “flattening” of the world. He discovers McDonalds has a single call center in Colorado that takes orders from customers over the phone for restaurants that operate in three states. Friedman continues to present other evidence that there are multiple “forces” that are flattening the world. The first flattener occurred on November 9, 1989, the fall of the Berlin wall. This event is significant because it allowed knowledge to flow freely in places such as India, Brazil, and China. The second flattener occurred on August 9, 1995, the date that Netscape went public. Friedman describes two c...


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... have the ability to adapt their talents to accomplish any task, and take pleasure in learning new things. The sixth category is “The Green People,” who are individuals that are passionate about energy and environmental issues. Furthermore, these issues will become more significant as natural resources become scarcer due to technology and growing populations. The seventh category is “The Passionate Personalizers,” which are creative individuals who can take an idea or product and put their own spin on it to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The eighth and last category is “The Great Localizers,” which are individuals such as freelance writers who will use the latest technology (satellite, DSL, cell phones, etc.) to communicate to greater audience; or a sports bar owner who installs multiple flat-screen televisions to draw crowds to their establishment.

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