Wednesday, August 23

The World Is Flat

"In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears -- and that is our problem."

If the above quote from the author upsets you then you should probably give this book a read. My interest in this book was raised when an off-shore company started working on the project I belong to at work. Of course many people went "Office Space" and swore that we would all be out of jobs in 2 months and all of our work will be done in India. Needless to say we are still here and this book explains why, well at least for now.

The World Is Flat is a detailed look at globalization, the world economy and it's impact to America. It goes about stating what brought along globalization (things like the Internet, high speed cable, VOIP, etc) and the history of technology in the past 15 years. The author, Thomas Friedman, cites numerous examples where U.S. was at one time the leader in many of these technologies but how quickly other countries like China and India are taking our place.

He starts off the book by saying globalization isn't bad and it's happened before and we lived. But by the middle he is saying that this time may be different because we are not doing things like we used to. Then he scares the Jesus out of everyone by giving examples where the United States is becoming very mediocre and very complacent in it's view of itself in the world today. This causes the other countries to get ahead.

Probably the most frustrating part in the book is where he calls out the President and the current government on numerous times where measures could be taken to prevent this problem from growing but because of stubbornness nothing was done. I plan on elaborating a bit more on the plan he proposes in a near future post.

The Ups: Great detailed history of the past 15 years in technology and is very thorough in his explanation of his ideas and theories. Quite an eye opener and holds plenty of ammunition to battle the anti-globalization crowd and even gives a few shots to the President. Always a plus here.

The Downs: It's long. Over 600 pages. This book takes a lot of interest in the subject to get through but good thing he makes it interesting.

Overall: A condensed form of this book should be put out and become mandatory reading for teachers and anyone potentially affected by globalization (read: everyone). Should be on everyone's shelves.

Verdict: A six pack of Tsingtao, a Chinese beer.

No comments: