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Jan 01, 2005 Free download or read online The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century pdf (ePUB) book. The first edition of the novel was published in January 1st 2005, and was written by Thomas L. The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 616 pages and is available in Hardcover format. The World Is Flat Thomas L Friedman ByBook Summary The World Is Flat Thomas L Friedman By Getting the books book summary the world. Get Free Book Summary The World Is Flat Thomas L Friedman BySummary and Review) - Minute Book Report Napoleon Hill's THINK and GROW RICH. In his international bestseller The World Is Flat, the American journalist Thomas Friedman argues that globalisation and hyperconnectivity, which are made possible by the rise of technology, have resulted in a “flattening” of the world as international economic barriers collapse. This clear and detailed summary and analysis is a valuable.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
AuthorThomas Friedman
Cover artistI Told You S, by E.D. Miracle; 1976.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectGlobalization
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
April 5, 2005
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback) and audio-CD
Pages488
ISBN0-374-29288-4
OCLC57202171
330.90511 22
LC ClassHM846 .F74 2005
Preceded byLongitudes and Attitudes
Followed byHot, Flat, and Crowded

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century is an international best-selling book by Thomas L. Friedman that analyzes globalization, primarily in the early 21st century. The title is a metaphor for viewing the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce, wherein all competitors, except for labor, have an equal opportunity. As the first edition cover illustration indicates, the title also alludes to the perceptual shift required for countries, companies, and individuals to remain competitive in a global market in which historical and geographic divisions are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Friedman is a strong advocate of those changes, calling himself a 'free-trader' and a 'compassionate flatist', and he criticizes societies that resist the changes. He emphasizes the inevitability of a rapid pace of change and the extent to which the emerging abilities of individuals and developing countries are creating many pressures on businesses and individuals in the United States; he has special advice for Americans and for the developing world. Friedman's is a popular work based on much personal research, travel, conversation, and reflection. In his characteristic style, through personal anecdotes and opinions, he combines in The World Is Flat a conceptual analysis accessible to a broad public. The book was first released in 2005, was later released as an 'updated and expanded' edition in 2006, and was yet again released with additional updates in 2007 as 'further updated and expanded: Release 3.0'. The title was derived from a statement by Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys.[1]The World Is Flat won the inaugural Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2005.[2]

Summary[edit]

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  • The World is Flat. It is a Thomas L. Friedman book.His world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless narrative much of its urgency, and which also saves it from the Epcot-style polyester sheen that futurists-the optimistic ones at least-are inevitably prey to.

In his book The World Is Flat, Friedman recounts a journey to Bangalore, India, when he realized globalization has changed core economic concepts.[3] In his opinion, that flattening is a product of the convergence of the personal computer with fiber optic microcable with the rise of work flow software. Friedman termed the period Globalization 3.0, thereby differentiating it from the previous, Globalization 1.0, during which countries and governments were the main protagonists, and Globalization 2.0, during which multinational companies led the way in driving global integration.

Friedman recounts many examples of companies based in India and China that, by providing labor ranging from that of typists and call center operators to accountants and computer programmers, have become integral parts of complex global supply chains; such companies are Dell, AOL, and Microsoft. Friedman's capitalist peace theory called Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention is discussed in the book's penultimate chapter.

Friedman repeatedly uses lists as organizational devices to communicate key concepts, usually numbered and often with provocative labels. Two example lists are the ten forces that flattened the world, and three points of convergence.

Ten flatteners[edit]

Friedman defines ten 'flatteners' that he sees as levelling the global playing field:

  1. Collapse of the Berlin Wall – 11/9/89: Friedman called the flattener 'When the walls came down, and the windows came up.' The event not only symbolized the end of the Cold War but also allowed people from the other side of the wall to join the economic mainstream. '11/9/89' is a discussion about the Berlin Wall's coming down, the 'fall' of communism, and the impact that Windows-powered PCs (personal computers) had on the ability of individuals to create their own content and connect to one another. At that point, the basic platform for the revolution to follow was created: the IBM PC, Windows, a graphical interface for word processing, dial-up modems, a standardized tool for communication, and a global phone network.
  2. Netscape – 8/9/95: Netscape went public at the price of $28. Netscape and the Web broadened the audience for the Internet from its roots as a communications medium used primarily by 'early adopters and geeks' to something that made the Internet accessible to everyone from five-year-olds to ninety-five-year-olds. The digitization that took place meant that everyday occurrences such as words, files, films, music, and pictures could be accessed and manipulated on a computer screen by all people across the world.
  3. Workflow software: This is Friedman's catch-all for the standards and technologies that allowed work to flow. It is the ability of machines to talk to other machines with no humans involved. Friedman believes the first three forces have become a 'crude foundation of a whole new global platform for collaboration'. This is complemented by the emergence of software protocols (SMTP – simple mail transfer protocol; HTML – the language that enabled anyone to design and publish documents that could be transmitted to and read on any computer anywhere). The emergence of such software is the 'Genesis moment of the flat world' and means 'that people can work with other people on more stuff than ever before'. This created a global platform for multiple forms of collaboration, on which the next six flatteners depend.
  4. Uploading: Uploading involves communities that upload and collaborate on online projects. Examples are open source software, blogs, and Wikipedia. Friedman considers the phenomenon 'the most disruptive force of all'.
  5. Outsourcing: Friedman argues that outsourcing has enabled companies to split service and manufacturing activities into components that can be subcontracted and performed in the most efficient, most cost-effective way. This process became easier with the mass distribution of fiber-optic cable during the introduction of the World Wide Web.
  6. Offshoring: This is the internal relocation of a company's manufacturing or other processes to a foreign land to take advantage of less costly operations there. China's entrance into the World Trade Organization allowed for greater competition on the playing field. Now such countries as Malaysia, Mexico, and Brazil must compete against China and one another to have businesses offshore to them.
  7. Supply-chaining: Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain to a river by pointing to Wal-Mart as the best example of a company that uses technology to streamline item sales, distribution, and shipping.
  8. Insourcing: Friedman uses UPS as a prime example for insourcing, whereby the company's employees perform services – beyond shipping – for another company. For example, UPS repairs Toshiba computers on behalf of Toshiba. The work is done at the UPS hub by UPS employees.
  9. Informing: Google and other search engines and Wikipedia are the prime examples. 'Never before in the history of the planet have so many people – on their own – had the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many other people', writes Friedman. The growth of search engines is tremendous; for example, Friedman states, Google is 'now processing roughly one billion searches per day, up from 150 million just three years ago'.
  10. 'The Steroids': The steroids are wireless, Voice over IP (VoIP), and file sharing and are used on personal digital devices like mobile phones, iPods, and personal digital assistants; on instant messaging; and on VoIP phones. Digital, mobile, personal, and virtual as well as all analog content and processes (from entertainment to photography, to word processing) can be digitized and therefore shaped, manipulated, and transmitted; and these processes can be done at high speed with total ease; mobile can be done anywhere and anytime by anyone, and can be done to anyone.

Proposed remedies[edit]

Friedman believes that to fight the quiet crisis of a flattening world, the US workforce should keep updating its work skills. Making the workforce more adaptable, Friedman argues, will keep it more employable. He also suggests that the government make it easier for people to switch jobs by making retirement benefits and health insurance less dependent on one's employer and by providing insurance that would partly cover a possible drop in income when changing jobs. Friedman also believes there should be more inspiration for youth to become scientists, engineers, and mathematicians because of a decrease in the percentage of those professionals who are American.

Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention[edit]

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The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention, also known as simply the Dell Theory, is a capitalist peace theory and an updated version of Friedman's previous 'Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention'. According to Friedman:

The World Is Flat - By Thomas L. Friedman PDF Free Download

The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain.[4]

That is, as long as corporations have major supply chain operations in countries other than that corporation's home country, those countries will never engage in armed conflicts. This is because of the economic interdependence between nations that arises when a large corporation (such as Dell) has supply chain operations in multiple global locations and when developing nations (in which supply chain operations commonly take place) are reluctant to give up their newfound wealth.

In his previous book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Friedman argued that no two nations with a McDonald's franchise had ever gone to war with one another; this was known as the Golden Arches theory. Later, Friedman upgraded that theory into the 'Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention' by saying that people or nations do not just want to have a better standard of living as symbolized by a McDonald's franchise in their downtown but also want to have that lump of the labor sector that is created by globalization. That is, developing nations do not want to risk the trust of the multinational companies that venture into their markets and include them in the global supply chain.

Thomas Friedman also warns that the Dell theory should not be interpreted as a guarantee that nations that are deeply involved in global supply chains will not go to war with each other. It means, rather, that the governments of those nations and their citizens will have very heavy economic costs to consider as they contemplate the possibility of war. Such costs include long-term loss of the country's profitable participation in the global supply chain.

This theory relates with how conflict prevention occurred between India and Pakistan in their 2001–2002 nuclear standoff, wherein India was at risk of losing its global partners. The relationship between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan was also cited as an example of that theory: both countries have strong supply relations with each other, and a war between the two seems very unlikely today.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

The World Is Flat received generally positive popular and critical reception as well as some negative criticism, peppered with doubt.

The Washington Post called the book an 'engrossing tour' and an 'enthralling read'. The review closed with, 'We've no real idea how the 21st century's history will unfold, but this terrifically stimulating book will certainly inspire readers to start thinking it all through'.[5]

An opposing viewpoint was found in a 2007 Foreign Policy magazine article in which Professor Pankaj Ghemawat argued that 90% of the world's phone calls, Web traffic, and investments are local, suggesting that Friedman has grossly exaggerated the significance of the trends he describes: 'Despite talk of a new, wired world where information, ideas, money, and people can move around the planet faster than ever before, just a fraction of what we consider globalization actually exists.'[6][7] Indian development journalist P. Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor for The Hindu, says 'it's not the 'world' that is flat, but Thomas Friedman's 'brain' is flat'.[citation needed]

Some critics have pointed out that the book is written from an American perspective. Friedman's work history has been mostly with The New York Times, and that may have influenced the way the book was written – some would have preferred a book written in a more 'inclusive voice'.[8]

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has been critical of Friedman's book:

Friedman is right that there have been dramatic changes in the global economy, in the global landscape; in some directions, the world is much flatter than it has ever been, with those in various parts of the world being more connected than they have ever been, but the world is not flat ... Not only is the world not flat: in many ways, it has been getting less flat.

— Joseph E. Stiglitz (2007): Making Globalization Work. pp. 56–57
The World Is Flat - By Thomas L. Friedman PDF Free Download

Richard Florida expresses similar views in his 2005 Atlantic article 'The World Is Spiky'.[9]

John Gray, formerly a School Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science, wrote another critical review of Friedman's book called 'The World Is Round'. In it, Gray confirms Friedman's assertion that globalization is making the world more interconnected and, in some parts, richer but disputes the notion that globalization makes the world more peaceful or freer. Gray also declares, 'least of all does it make it flat'.[10]

Geographers on the whole have been particularly critical of Friedman's writings, views influenced by the large body of work within their field demonstrating the uneven nature of globalization, the strong influence place still has on people's lives, and the dependent relationships that have been established between the have and have-not regions in the current world-system. Geographer Harm de Blij detailed those arguments for the general public in Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America (2005) and The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization's Rough Landscape (2008).

The World Is Flat - By Thomas L. Friedman PDF Free Download

Editions[edit]

  • The World is Flat (1st ed.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2005. ISBN0-374-29288-4. [The original jacket illustration, reproducing the painting I Told You So by Ed Miracle, depicting a sailing ship falling off the edge of the world, was changed during the print run due to copyright issues.[11] These issues were settled in March, 2006.[12]]
  • The World is Flat (Audiobook ed.). Audio Renaissance. 2005. ISBN1-59397-668-2.
  • The World is Flat: Updated and Expanded (Release 2.0) (2nd ed.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2006. ISBN0-374-29279-5.
  • The World is Flat: Further Updated and Expanded (Release 3.0) (2nd revised and expanded ed.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2007. ISBN0-374-29278-7.

References[edit]

  1. ^Daniel H. Pink (May 2005). 'Why the World Is Flat'. WIRED. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  2. ^'Business books of the decade; The World Is Flat'. The Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  3. ^Warren Bass (April 3, 2005). 'The Great Leveling'. Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  4. ^The World is Flat (ISBN1-59397-668-2), Thomas L. Friedman, pg 421
  5. ^'The Great Leveling'. The Washington Post. 2005-04-03. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  6. ^Pankaj Ghemawat (March/April 2007). 'Why the World Isn't Flat' Foreignpolicy.com. (Subscription). Accessed 2008-04-03.
  7. ^Pankaj Ghemawat (March 2007). Why the world isn't flat. Foreign Policy. Accessed 2012-10-05.
  8. ^Peter Begley (2006). 'The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century'. Accessed 2006-11-06.
  9. ^Richard Florida (October 2005). 'The world is spiky'. Atlantic Monthly. Accessed 2009-05-09.
  10. ^Gray, John (2005). 'The World is Round'. The New York Review of Books (Trans. Array, Web ed.). pp. 1–9.
  11. ^Justin Fox (October 17, 2005). 'A Painter Is Flat-Out Flimflammed'. Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  12. ^'The World Is Flat - Ed Miracle and defendants settle case'.

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: The World Is Flat
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The World Is Flat Summary Pdf

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After being busy with his intrepid reporting on post-9/11 and Mid-East developments, the award-winning N.Y. Times columnist Tom Friedman says that he suddenly woke up to the realization that the world is 'flat'. In April 2005, he published a new book, “The world is flat” which is now on track to sell more than a million copies. Beyond just the sales figures, it’s important to note that this book is being read by people in government, universities are assigning it college courses, and it has become required reading in a lot of businesses.
The book’s material and metaphors are still being discussed on TV, in magazine articles and in many webzines and weblogs. After joining in some of these discussions, I keep re-reading sections of the book, a lot of which rings true. I've always followed Friedman's articles and liked his last book: 'Longitudes & Attitudes'. This latest book is significant in that it synthesizes a lot of seemingly disjointed events and trends.
Friedman trumpeted his new book with an incisive N.Y. Times article (3 Apr.2005) which has now been archived, available only to subscribers. But you can read some of it, plus an interview with Friedman, through the web links below.
Discovering the Flatness
Tom Friedman had some impressive editorial assistance with his book. Bill Gates spent a day with him to critique the theory. He presented sections of the book to the strategic planning unit at IBM and to Michael Dell. But those things came after the book was already in preparation. His initial “discovery” came while he was on another, totally different journalistic assignment.
Friedman says he encountered the flattening of the world quite by chance when he was visiting India. His most important collaborators were two Indians: Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, and Vivek Paul of Wipro, executives of two billion-$ software companies based in the Indian high-tech capital, Bangalore. He describes his experiences with these people with the awestruck hyperbole that he previously reserved for encounters with the heroes of Silicon Valley.
By the way, this becomes somewhat personal here. I was born and educated in Bangalore; I moved to England when I was 20, and then to the US at 30 – I’ve lived more than half my life in San Diego, California. My background gives me a good perspective of the new world-flattening processes that Friedman discusses, and I have first-hand experiences with some of the companies he writes about. Indeed, I’ll be visiting both Infosys and Wipro in January 2006.
Flattening of the landscape
In the past few years, massive investments in technology – satellite broadband connectivity, undersea cables – have changed the shape of the world, making global communications cheap and abundant. At the same time, computers became cheaper and available all over the world. And there was an explosion of e-mail, search engines like Google and software that could chop up any piece of work and send the individual pieces to Boston, Birmingham, Bangalore and Beijing, making it easy for anyone to do remote development.
When all of these things suddenly came together (around the turn of the century) intellectual capital could be delivered from anywhere. It could be disaggregated, delivered, distributed, produced and put back together again. And this brought whole new degrees of freedom to the way work is done – especially work that needs brains, not physical interaction.
Tom Friedman insists that the confluence of these developments is as revolutionary as Gutenberg and the printing press in the 15th century, and how it plays out will be the central global drama of the early 21st century. The cheap availability everywhere of software and broadband Internet has leveled the landscape. It has created a newly 'flat' global political, economic, and cultural playing field that allows countries previously disconnected from the centers of power to participate in the pursuit of wealth, provided they have the skills, the infrastructure (broadband connections) and the drive to do it.
Friedman explains what the 'flat world' means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals, and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The future will not resemble the past. Outsourcing is inevitable and complaints or complacency won't resolve anything. To succeed in the future, individuals and companies must develop strategies that fit global realities.
The 10 forces of Flatness
'Flatness' is not simply about Outsourcing and Offshoring – those are just symptoms of the much broader global shift. Here's my own summary of Friedman's 10 forces of flatness:
The walls came down, windows went up: The old cold-war barriers blew open, and everyone was talking to everyone else through a common platform, computers and software.
Internet browsers: Suddenly everyone could browse the web with significant and prolific content, allowing instant publishing to a world audience.
Workflow software: Common web-based standards; software applications 'taking' to each other.
Open-source: Self-organizing, collaborative communities; the decline of closed, proprietary developments.
Outsourcing: Business suddenly realizing that everything did NOT have to be done in-house. The rise of outside specialists, part-timers and home-workers.
Off-shoring: Sending manufacturing to wherever it could be done – good, fast and cheap. With the availability of worldwide high-speed communications, knowledge work can be delivered fast from anywhere.
Supply-chaining: The development of fast, efficient and effective supply-chains to deliver products from anywhere. A good example is the rise of Wal-Mart to become the largest company in the world.
Logistics: UPS and Fedex don't just deliver packages – they do logistics.
Informing – web search: Google & Yahoo deliver information quickly and effectively, anywhere, to anyone. The rise of Groups and Weblogs.
Digital, mobile, personal, virtual: Everything shaped, manipulated and transmitted by computers and instant communications.
The triple convergence
Tom Friedman explains that the forces of flatness have resulted in a 'triple convergence':
The creation of a global, web-enabled playing field that allows multiple forms of collaboration, the sharing of knowledge and work, without regard to distance or geography, and soon even language.
Global companies lose walls, floors and buildings. Employees are now a vast, global pool of specialists, assembled (and disassembled) according to needs.
New opportunities are created for individuals to compete against anyone, anywhere in the world using the new, 'flat' rules.
Don't look for 'flatness' on the other side of the world – look for it around you, in your company: no 'secretaries' any more; minimal levels of hierarchy; old org-charts becoming quickly outdated; emails spreading good news and bad within minutes, inside and outside the company; jobs being outsourced around town and around the world.
Success in the new, flat world
Tom Friedman’s book describes the changes as rapid (because of modern communications and technology acceleration), inevitable and unstoppable. Its essential message is that 'flattening' is progress. While this certainly poses a threat to historical U.S. and European prosperity and power, the proper response is not to fight it, but to embrace it and adapt, not only to survive, but thrive in the new environment. What America, and new century economies need are better education, pervasive high-speed broadband connections, and more globally aware government policies.
It's a new game out there. Don't complain about it – join it and enjoy it. If you are not good enough to play in this different kind of game, you'll simply be sitting on the sidelines, watching others play.

From India, Lucknow

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