The World Is Flat (Chater 6)

In chapter 6, Friedman mainly talks about middle class, explaining “who and how” to survive and compete in the flattening world. First he talks about “the untouchables”. A Friedman definition of an untouchable can be “a job which will always be necessary for a specific place and cannot be outsourced or moved somewhere else”.  He gave examples of jobs that were safe or “untouchable”; jobs like Doctors, at lower level (plumbers, nurses, barber etc). They are necessary because they are public demand for all areas.

After, Friedman breaks down the chapter into different categories of people who are most likely to fit in this flattening trend. He talked about collaborators and orchestras in which different fields of business work together to benefit both. Afterwards he mentioned explainers. They have a major role in today’s marketplace since “if you explain the complexity well, you can see the opportunities better”. Perhaps it is very important to express products/ideas to have a successful business. Another category he mentioned was adaptors or “versatilists”. These people are very demanding in the flattening world. Since jobs move off shore and other’s move in within one’s country, being a veratilist is very handy. Having this quality gives a key to middle class jobs, because these are exactly the kind of people employers are looking for.  He talk about “Math Lovers”, in this category author explains how math is a must need for any type of middle job. Friedman quoted a saying “Choose Math…because you will meet it more and more in the future. Math becomes more and more important in all areas of work and scholarship”.  Indeed telling us that its significance is growing. Other categories were also mentioned that explained the importance of the “untouchables” All in all this chapter gave great tips that were interesting to help survive this flattening world.


The World Is Flat (chapter 4 and 5)

In the beginning of chapter 4, Friedman talks about how the flattening of the world was foreshadowed in the text “Communist manifesto”  by Karl Marx. Afterwards, Friedman didn’t go against the flattening of the world but in a way discussed some negative sides of the technology, internet and other main ingredients of the flattening world. Friedman seemed to favor it but at the same time talks about questioning these ingredients. Friedman questions if the free flow of information, outsourcing, etc are actually beneficial or they should stay in walls and barriers within ones country. He gave some examples that didn’t favor the idea of flattening. One example was him stating how real estate agents are no longer needed as much as before. Thanks to the “internet” about 77% of home shoppers now use online as a way to buy their property.

Another example he gave was the help of Indians in Indiana to upgrade the states computers, for cheap. One statement that Friedman gave to explain this scenario was “in a flat world, one person’s economic liberation could be another’s unemployment”. Friedman then gives examples on the countries who aren’t really considered loyal from the countries which they really belong when they go global.   He mentioned companies like HP, which are American companies but unfortunately end up hurting most Americans instead of benefiting them by moving oversees. Towards the end of the chapter we see that Friedman actually favors flattening. A proof would be that he said he wants individuals and companies to “appreciate” flattening by understand the real nature of it. The real concept of the world going flat isn’t bad at all if it’s understood correctly.

In chapter 5 Friedman talks about mostly the positive sides of the flattening world. He gave examples that persuade readers to think more good than bad about the global playing field. One example he gave was if America and China were the only countries, and compared their success according to their population. Friedman also strongly emphasizes on the fact that Americans need to take the rise of China and India seriously. Chinese and Indians are taught excellent education and on top of that they are hard workers. Americans indeed are great in education but they need to become better than ever before to still be the key player in the global field. Chinese and Indians kids study day and night to become engineers and doctors. American kids need to step up better to stay in role in this competition and save their jobs from the outsiders before it’s too late!

The World Is Flat (185-232)

According to Friedman, steroids also take a big role flatting this world. First setting in mind the word steroids with technology is also hard since we all think of it in a science way that they help us energize our body. But here it’s a whole different story. According to Friedman these steroids “boost” communication in the world as well as better technology usage. Some steroids he talks about are computing, file sharing, VoIP and more. He explains these steroids in details and how they are helping people and businesses around the world. I also truly believe that these steroids have brought the world into a new direction and are some main ingredients in making the world flat.

Next Friedman talks about “The Triple Convergence”. All three convergences were the leading improvement of the previous one.  Friedman gave an example of series of process that airport tickets have gone through until the point where now that are fully electronic. He says that when all of these flattners and their success combine together it has a greater impact in the world. All these flattners have brought the world into a new phase, some countries have been drastically changed since their previous history. Such countries like China and India.  The education in these countries is on the role. The kids study day and night and they go to schools related to Engineering or Medicine.  They come to study in America for education which I believe is good and bad. How is America benefiting from teaching the international kids? Some of these kids go back in their countries and use all the education they were learned here to make their countries successful. At the same time international kids who come here stay here to help give back to this country. So therefore is a mix result!

The World Is Flat (pgs. 167-185)

In-sourcing  was the 8th flattner that Friedman discussed. He  specifically went in depth of the UPS chain. He mentioned some of the most shocking facts that people probably never knew. A person like me only took UPS as a shipping company. Turns out that UPS is far and beyond a typical shipping company. It has gotten efficient enough that it controls repairment for Toshiba computers, controls the food supply for some fast food restaurants and much more. UPS has not only taken over US but also has taken over globally, getting bigger than ever before. Perhaps telling us that companies can grow, have well reputation, if they play smart with the available technology just like the UPS for example.

(video includes an interview of an senior UPS worker who talks about how UPS is using technology for faster and reliable shipping)

The other flattner that Friedman talks about in the pages is “in-forming”. Search engines are taken for granted. A person should give credit to them since all information is within reach about anything/anytime. One famous example would be Google. Google has grown to be by far the most successful search engine. It helps us know almost everything we want to find out about. Google started in 1995 and brought its way up to a point where it “now processing roughly one billion searches per day”!.  Other engines like yahoo and MSN are also close to the same level. Never a person in the early 1900s would have thought that after several years the world would be at their finger tips.  Google now finds every possible way to satisfy  their user. For example when you get side ads you might have noticed that most of them are familiar to the stuff that you might have searched before on. That is because system monitors your moves and presents you with the stuff that will be helpful to you.  In other words these engines are becoming more efficient making them more and more popular in the eyes of users.

The World Is Flat (137-167)

Off shoring and Supply Chaining were two flatteners discussed in the given pages. The main country discussed by Friedman was china. He explained how china has grown to be a very competitive country which in result has pros and cons in stock for United States. Major companies send their work oversees to china since equal or better amount of work gets done for far less money. On the other hand WTO benefits from this sort from off shoring.  But sending jobs off shore is a loss of more jobs in America. If same companies keep their branches here it will open more jobs for us Americans who are in desperate need of one. Yes indeed for companies sending these oversees is cheaper but they should be knowing that more unemployment rates have increased in America. And if every company decreased their work oversees it would make a big difference in the unemployment rate in America. It will actually favor the American economy because when people have jobs they are most likely to spend money, bringing benefits back to their company. On the other hand, yes it will decrease the global economy but to do better in the global economy, a country has to have a certain economic level itself!

Friedman talks about Wal-Mart which uses technology to a point where it has become so successful that “If Wal-Mart were in individual economy, it would rank as China’s eighth-biggest trading partner”. This is a very surprising fact telling us companies can use supply chaining to boost their business if they play smart and use full level of connections and technology.

The World Is Flat (126-136)

In the following pages Friedman mainly explains a mini history of a possible reason to a successful India. He mainly talked about the “Y2K” who he thinks plays a big role in making India standout to the world in/around year of 2000.   In the end of the 90s, calendar section of the computers was not able to change to “2000” and it was problem. Almost all computers had this problem and it was close to impossible to fix all. This situation was handled by India. During the fixing process it grew more technology wise. Americans gave this situation to them to handle because it was good work for cheap. In the end fixing this problem benefited India because its level of usage in technology increased and became expert at it which then made it open new schools and programs.