The World is Flat.

by Thomas L. Friedman.

When I first heard about this book it was not amongst my priorities (for me, economics == boring). But after hearing recommendations from two different sources, I decided to give it a try. I ended up listening to the audio version instead.

What I liked:

  • Good answers to questions like:
    • Why does India have some of the best programmers?
    • Why are most of my gadgets made in China / Taiwan / Malaysia?
    • Why does Amazon.com not ship electronics to Moldova?
    • Why do I find it strange that my parents expect their employer to keep them hired for life?
  • The author really did his homework. You wouldn’t expect to be finding Linux references in an economics book, would you? (That’s just an example.)
  • Good thoughts to consider about the positive side of globalisation. The few globalisation critics I have asked couldn’t give me a good answer to what’s so BAD about it.
  • Although written from an American point of view, the book contains enough ideas for people in the third world to be worth the read.

What I liked less:

  • It is written in a very repetitive (self-help-like) style. To avoid falling asleep I listened to it at 1.3x speed
  • This is not the author’s fault, but there doesn’t seem to be a definite way for countries like Moldova to really get into the “flat world”. India made it, but it seems like we have neither their optimism nor their hard-work genes…

This book has convinced me (yet again) that this is the perfect era to live in, and that technology and globalisation are solving more problems than they are creating. The world is moving in the right direction, and there is no point turning towards the past and swimming against the current.

A quotation from the final chapter:

When memories exceed dreams, the end is near.

9 Responses to The World is Flat.

  1. Ion says:

    Am scris si eu despre asta, Cartea e impresionanta, Vezi http://myionsclifos.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/the-world-is-flat/

  2. Constantin says:

    Yep… Bine ar fi ca politicienii nostri sa mai citeasca din cand in cand ;)

  3. diana says:

    & here’s another link (a link with a link):
    http://www.tolo.ro/2007/03/31/interviu-super-cu-thomas-friedman/

  4. diana says:

    nedumerire personala: oare daca as cumpara cartea asta as afla dc geanta mea marc jacobs este falsa sau originala? imi pare un tip destept, ar trebui sa stie

  5. Constantin says:

    Multe exemple sunt si in carte. Iar traducerea e cam suspecta (“cind a aparut HTML, toate programele au devenit interoperabile”).

    Hmm, e originala geanta daca designul e american, materialele sunt de prin Africa, iar mana de lucru e chineza?

    (sorry about my paranoid spam filter)

  6. diana says:

    constantin: ca sa imi alung suspiciunile ar tb ca mana de lucru sa fie italiana

  7. concerned citizen says:

    The small, but interesting book, by Aronica and Ramdoo, “The World is Flat? A Critical Analysis of Thomas Friedman’s New York Times Bestseller,” offers a counterperspective to Friedman’s theory. It is a small book compared to the 600 page tome by Friedman, and aimed at the common man and students alike. As popular as the book may be, some reviewers assert that by what it leaves out, Friedman’s book is dangerous. The authors point to the fact that there isn’t a single table or data footnote in Friedman’s entire book. “Globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world since the Industrial Revolution,” says Aronica.

    You may want to see http://www.mkpress.com/flat
    and watch http://www.mkpress.com/flatoverview.html
    for an interesting counterperspective on Friedman’s
    “The World is Flat”.

    Also a really interesting 6 min wake-up call: Shift Happens! http://www.mkpress.com/ShiftExtreme.html

    There is also a companion book listed: Extreme Competition: Innovation and the Great 21st Century Business Reformation
    http://www.mkpress.com/extreme
    http://www.mkpress.com/Extreme11minWMV.html

  8. Tapan says:

    Good one. You can also refer to Florida’s article: The World is Spiky. Interesting comparison. I have added a blog entry few weeks back on this.

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