The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author
In his book, Thomas Friedman explores the history of the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century for the purpose of the explaining why he believes the world has become flatter. According to the author, the flattening of the world occurred in regard to communication opportunities and speed, global trade and economic exchanges, as well as the social transformations. All of these changes were inflicted by the process of globalization, the development of technologies, and the rise of the Internet.
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It goes without saying that due to the influence of the factors and phenomena mentioned by the author the world we live in today differs significantly from the way it used to be in the first half of the 20th century. Life became faster, more intense, and the flow of information is sometimes quite overwhelming. The contemporary people have to stay flexible and adaptable as they live in highly changeable environments where life-long learning is a necessity. It is interesting that the author mentions some of the phenomena that appeared during the last several decades as the drivers that caused the flattening of the world. To be more precise, according to Friedman, some of such drivers are outsourcing, offshoring, workflow software, and supply chaining. Indeed all of these activities produced an immense impact on the world of business. Additionally, they changed many workplaces, helped many organizations and companies become international, and, generally, added many global workplaces. The author expresses his excitement about the benefits that these activities help create in the West, as well as the advantages that some of the emerging and developing economies enjoy due to globalization. It is interesting to explore these phenomena in detail as presented by the author.
Implications of the Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator
As the author discusses the changes that occurred in the middle and upper classes, and how the process of globalization eventually resulted in the explosion of wealth for the two groups of the population, I, as an educator, started to think about the lower and working classes and their experience of the same change. To be more precise, the mechanization of manual labor that resulted from the rapid development of technologies caused many people to lose their low-skill jobs and start living in the streets. In addition to this problem, the inflow of laborers from developing countries drove the salaries for low-skill jobs even lower and also killed all the opportunities to find employment with a decent pay. Also, the growth of corporations called for the establishment of a multitude of tech support centers that are the new generation low-skill jobs with a dead end for all the employees. A similar tendency is true for other service jobs where prices and salaries go down as shops and offices multiply.
For a teacher, whose job is to serve as an advocate for their students, the ideas expressed in this book may not seem attractive in terms of the prospects that await the future employment seekers. In the age of technological breakthroughs, the importance of education is higher than ever. As a result, the ideas outlined by the author imply that students need to be informed thoroughly about the future they may face if they choose not to pursue any specific professions. This is particularly important for the schools in low-income areas where children come from families without any high-performers as role-models.
The Ideas That I Challenge
Apart from the interesting presentation of the events that became parts of the process of globalization that eventually led to the ultimate shifts in the contemporary society, the author also expresses his pleasure about such development. This is one of his core ideas in the book. Also, this is the idea that I would like to challenge. As the author states that globalization resulted in a massive number of benefits from developing as well as developed countries, I wonder whether or not he took into consideration the numerous negative outcomes that were brought by this change. In fact, all of them are related to the activities that Friedman lists as forces that contributed to the flattening of the world.
For example, outsourcing is outlined as one of such forces. Friedman describes this practice as an opportunity to for one to run a business without having to hire employees. At the same time, outsourcing is one of the practices that generate labor inequality and the lack of corporate social responsibility in some developing countries as they compete for winning as many outsourcing western projects as possible. Consequently, in the race to produce more and faster for the Western consumers and companies, those in the developing countries may violate human rights by forcing their employees to work long shifts for small wages and in terrible conditions. Sometimes, child labor and workplace abuse are involved as well. Also, the transfer of dirty productions into developing countries causes massive amounts of emissions that harm the environment in the countries that perform outsourced work. In that way, it is possible that the author could give deeper thought to the matter which he presented as a primarily positive change.