Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How We Flattened Our World

Thomas Friedman thinks that we have flattened our world by bridging the gap between ourselves as world citizens. We have the ability to work together and to compete at a greater level than ever before due to the convenience caused by advancement in technology. He believes a major event that led to the flattening of the world was the falling of the Berlin Wall. This historical event proved how countries can learn from each other and develop a more democratic government. With more countries developing this kind of governmental practice, we are able to exchange ideas more freely. The collaboration of different techologies to create the World Wide Web as we know it today has led us to be more connected in the viral world. The division of labor through work flow software has made projects a much more collaborative effort than ever before. One person can complete the design of a website, another person can do the text for it and a third person can proofread it and get it ready for distribution. They never have to be in one location to complete all of this. Having the ability to share your own creations by uploading them has been an important way of bringing people together. People have the opportunity to upload what they deem important, instead of just downloading something anyone can do. A major connecting practice is outsourcing, many businesses in America are able to outsource tasks they need completed as soon as possible. While they are sleeping here, someone in India can have it completed by the time they get to their office the next day. Offshoring has meant a lot to the businesses in United States. It means they have had to spend a lot less on labor because someone in China will do it for a loss less. Most of us are wearing someone right now that a person in China finished stitching a few days ago. Big corporations such as Wal-Mart show us how quickly information goes between a customer and a product. When a customer makes a purchase, it gets scanned and right away the ball starts rolling on how to replace that item that was just purchased. It takes fraction of the time to get that item replenished because technology has sped up the line of communication and offshoring has sped up how quickly a product will get made. Friedman in particular discusses how inshoring flattens the world. It allows small companies to partner up to be able to compete with big corporations such as Wal-Mart. He gave the example of beneficial it is for companies to partner with UPS to get their shipments delivered to customers faster, if a lot of companies go through UPS then it cuts down the barriers between them and it also creates a standard of operation which more companies will develop. Another big aspect of flattening the world according to Thomas Friedman is information on the web that is available to anyone with the click of a button. Where it is a person in India or a someone in France, they all have the same access to the same information that is available on that search engine. The last component to the flattening of the world is the digitalization of many information that is distributed. Text and sound can be coded the same way and easy distributed, people are able to work from their homes and more power lies in people’s hand than ever before. Looking at all of the proof as to how the world is flat is very convincing. It is something that we experience anytime we buy a product, google something or call a customer service representative. There is no denying it, the world is indeed flat.