Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Cyber World Is Flat

Some years ago I wrote a post at my other blog titled, "Friedman's Flat World."  It has been popular with readers to this day.  This chart shows what the author was talking about.

In the chart, the world is the sum of its parts, 100%.  And any part can be next to any other. In an Internet world, India is right next to the United States, only "a click away." This is unlike the actual world where countries are trapped by the circumstances of geography.  

The chart reflects the location of people visiting this website in recent days.  Less than half are from the United States.  One in ten visits are from India.  

They are not actual visits, they are virtual visits.  The Internet is, essentially "free," allowing my visitors to "meet" me through my words and images.  In Friedman's flat world virtual reality makes instant money transactions possible, along with instant adjustments for different currencies, etc. 

The earth is actually shaped like a ball; not flat like the chart or Friedman's world.  In the chart countries are segments of a larger whole  just like Friedman's interconnected world.  In reality countries are separate and unique. And one can learn a great deal about a country and its people via cyberspace's interconnectedness.  Even within a country, the Internet makes it possible to come to know about regional and cultural differences, without having to make the trip.

The old round world means weeks to ship something, or to  travel abroad by boat.  But intercontinental flights flatten the world for travelers. And computers allow virtual meetings "face to face" on computer screens.

To quote from that earlier post:
Friedman's flat world thesis suggests several markers, what he calls "genesis moments setting the new platforms for flat world collaboration."

  1. outsourcing - of work to remote locations away from the company
  2. off-shoring -move the plant out of the US and integrate it into another country's economy.
  3. open-sourcing - programmers collaborated in open source form to write new OS language, pure peer-reviewed science loved by geeks like Linux and FireFox, the open source web browser.
  4. supply-chaining - one of the key elements in the Walmart success, that depends on an elaborate communication system that closely manages the vendor/Walmart/customer interface.
  5. in-sourcing - the example the speaker used here is UPS' "we come to you" strategy; where a customer's electronics equipment is picked up, transported, then repaired at a central UPS hub by UPS technicians, then returned to the customer.
  6. informing - I manage my own data via examples Google's search engine and the TIVO device.
  7. the "steroids" - examples include wireless technology, sending voice over the internet, gameboy-like devices for business. Friedman characterized these as "turbochargers for all the collaborators."
To summarize, my Internet experience assures that my community is larger, more in touch and much more interesting and informative than it would be without a computer.  


My topical post today at South by Southwest and The Reaction is about politics.

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Spadoman said...

It is amazing that technology allows this "flatness", or closeness as communication, in so many forms,. is just a click away.

My good friend had his call phone stolen from the dashboard of his vehicle yesterday. He was lost. He had become so conditioned to having it and getting immediate contact with business dealings and socializing that he was lost.

Many times, I choose to leave the technological devices at home when I am away. It makes me feel like I have escaped from something that was binding me.

I try to remember how I communicated years ago when I traveled. My first cell phone was in 1995. I used long distance calling cards from AT&T at a pay phone before that. Ahhh, those were the days.

Good post. Makes me think about things and wonder if everything is okay.


Carol Gee said...

Thanks for your insightful comment. I always have these technological dilemmas when I go to Wyoming. I tried to take my laptop one year, and I, like you, felt as it it were hobbled to my ankle. Taking my big old SLR camera, with all the accessories got me some great photos but I did not get in on the experience of the trip, or the event. I always feel the tugs you describe. It is probably good that I cannot afford a Blackberry and its monthly fee. I have an ancient hand-held that I keep babying, as I do not want to re-enter all that priceless data. I will be worse off than your friend if something happens to it.
Peace to you, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Nilekani may be having a hard time convincing people that he only said that the world has now become a "level playing field." Not that the "world is flat." And globalization has more to it, than internet connectivity and software related jobs.

I would point to a small but interesting book, by Aronica and Ramdoo, "The World is Flat? A Critical Analysis of Thomas Friedman's New York Times Bestseller," which offers a counterperspective to Friedman's theory on globalization.

Interestingly enough, the book written about two years back, discusses in the following chapters,
"Debt and Financialization of America"
"America"s Former Middle Class"
"A Paradigm Shift for America" with prescriptions for the future

the debt ridden American society, deregulated financial institutions, mortgage crisis and other related issues, with clear pointers to the economic crisis gripping US today. For more information regarding the same, check this out:

This is a small book compared to the 600 page tome by Friedman, and aimed at the common man and students alike. 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
and watch
for an interesting counterperspective on Friedman's
"The World is Flat".

Also a really interesting 6 min wake-up call: Shift Happens!

There is also a companion book listed: Extreme Competition: Innovation and the Great 21st Century Business Reformation


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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.