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The world is flat

August 31, 2005

I had the good fortune this morning of hearing Thomas L. Friedman speak about his new book, The World is Flat. This was a real treat, as his book provides some very incisive commentary on where we are and where we are going in the era beyond mere Globalization.

I strongly recommend you read the book, as well as his earlier works.

Friedman was very energetic and interesting speaker, a treat in the era of authors who really can’t seem to communicate beyond the page. Although his presentation was clearly “scripted”, he delivered it with genuine enthusiasm and interest. It was clear that he feels passionately about the subject and expects the audience to do so as well.

His audience was probably a lot further along the “gee, Globalization has happened and technology has changed everything and the best is yet to come” scale than typical. One thousand Microsoft employees in a room is likely to make anyone rethink any premise. The people are smart enough to be able to pick apart any argument, even the most rock solid. In this case, however, the audience was gracious and the questions very on point.

It is useful to remind myself how far along the curve my little universe is when it comes to the reality of leading the 21st century instead of being stuck in the 20th. If only someone like me was President.

Go read the book and enjoy the coming changes. You will only get a few warnings.

I think it is time to teach the little one Chinese.

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