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The Position Paper on Thomas Friedman’s Speech Essay


In his keynote address for MIT Milestone Celebration (2008), Thomas Friedman discusses the globalization processes in the world and associated changes in the communication, technology, work, social activities, and education while stating that the modern world is ‘flat’.

To understand the specific conditions for the world to become ‘flat’, Friedman uses the idea of a ‘flattener’ which contributes to the development of globalization in all its forms. Friedman determines four main flatteners which are the personal computer, Netscape, the workflow revolution, and uploading.

Referring to these flatteners, Friedman states that the world has changed significantly in relation to creating, using, and sharing the digital content, and the flatteners play the significant role in the process (Friedman, 2008). It is possible to agree with Friedman’s ideas on the role of a personal computer, use of browsers, uploading and manipulating the digital data for the world’s progress and changing the approaches to delivering and analyzing the content.

Today, the content preserved in the digital form is the basic tool to perform a lot of actions because people upload, download, search for, and operate the digital data globally in order to complete different tasks. Analyzing the role of the digital content today, it is possible to agree with Friedman’s argument on the role of inventing the personal computer because the creation and delivery of the digital content became the reality only after working out the personal computer (Friedman, 2008).

From this point, while discussing the role of the digital content in the world, its creation, development, and organization, it is necessary to refer to the personal computer as the basic tool to make the digital realty closer to each individual round the world.

The next aspect which is important to be discussed is the possibility to share or deliver the digital content. In spite of the fact that the personal computer works to create the data, it is important to have the resources with the help of which individuals can share and find the content. That is why, it is appropriate to refer to Friedman’s discussion of the role of Netscape in the process.

The creation of the universal communication platform and the invention of the browser allowed individuals to rely on the connectivity of the Internet (Friedman, 2008). Today, the idea of the content delivery is associated with every shared photograph and message the links to which can be also found with the help of a browser. That is why, it is almost impossible to reject the idea that Netscape played the revolutionary role in promoting the content delivery and different globalization processes.

Friedman also discusses the concept of the workflow revolution as dependent on the progress of the computer technologies and Internet resources (Friedman, 2008). The possibility to share the digital data stimulates the global collaboration of people living in different countries. This idea can also be supported by those persons who or whose relatives and friends work to complete projects in association with the foreign business partners with the help of the Internet resources.

From this point, Netscape or the great communication platforms to share the digital content are the key tools to stimulate globalization, the workflow revolution, and collaboration. Moreover, it is also possible to agree with Friedman in relation to the point that the next step is the green revolution because the processes should change according to the laws of the progress, and other revolutionary ideas should come.

It is important to state that e-commerce and the performance within the global market and industries of numerous actors are the logical outcomes of the developed workflow revolution. The world can be discussed as open for each individual who has the Internet connection and who can operate the digital content.

Furthermore, the labour market is also open for persons who are inclined to work abroad without leaving their home places. Thus, Friedman can be considered as right while stating that people not only share the digital content for free but they also collaborate with the help of personal computers, Netscape, and other web resources (Friedman, 2008).

Moreover, while uploading files and digital data, people also become more open for the global community which could use this information often for free. As a result, Friedman’s conclusions about the ‘flat’ world and obscure boundaries between states and regions can be understood almost by everyone because these changes of the world are observed widely, and it is impossible to ignore the effects of the globalization associated with the technological development.

The revolution associated with creating, developing, editing, sharing, and delivering the digital content led to the revolution in the people’s communication and job interactions. Furthermore, these changes contributed to the development of the globalization processes.

In his speech for MIT Milestone Celebration, Thomas Friedman determines four flatteners, and it is possible to agree with the speaker that these factors played the key role in reforming the modern world because the results of the digital revolution are observed today widely.

Works Cited

Friedman, Thomas. MIT Milestone Celebration: Keynote Address. 11 Jan. 2008. Web. <>.

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IvyPanda. (2019, June 18). The Position Paper on Thomas Friedman’s Speech. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-position-paper-on-thomas-friedmans-speech/

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1. IvyPanda. "The Position Paper on Thomas Friedman’s Speech." June 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-position-paper-on-thomas-friedmans-speech/.


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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Position Paper on Thomas Friedman’s Speech." June 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-position-paper-on-thomas-friedmans-speech/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Position Paper on Thomas Friedman’s Speech'. 18 June.

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