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physics
jwg

The World Is Flat

I just started reading The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. It is subtitled A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. It is brief mostly because it was published in 2005 at which time the 21st century was quite brief. (the book was updated in 2007 but that's not the version I got from the library. Friedman is the foreign affairs columnist from the NY Times who also writes about economic issues.

Early in the book he contrasts Columbus' trip west from Europe to discover India which served to prove that the Earth is round to his trip east from the US to India where he discovered that the world is flat. He is talking about globalization of course; he researched and wrote about the various political, technological, social, and economic factors and their interactions that have enabled so many changes in the last 20 years. Thus far it's been extremely interesting reading - I'm only a third of the way through the book.

Chapter two is where he describes in great detail the 10 forces that flattened the world. Number one is 11/9/89 - the fall of the Berlin Wall; number two is 8/9/95 - Netscape going public; number three is Work Flow software; and number four is Open Source software.
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