The World Is Flat
- Thomas L. Friedman
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
This is a book about computers. The author thinks it's about outsourcing, globalization and all that and of course it is, but the underlying force that drives all of this is computers and the Internet. You know that: maybe you are a "victim" of outsourcing and globalization yourself, or you know someone who is. You aren't going to find much commiseration here: reality bites, and the reality is that the world is changing.
It's not the first time. From fire to the wheel to steamboats and electricity, change has always caused economic displacement and adjustment. Maybe you grew up thinking you were immune; more the fool you, unfortunately. Technological change always makes new winners and losers. Sometimes it won't touch you and your little cocoon at all, but sometimes it rips everything open and spills you out into the big bad world.
If you don't have a clue what's driving all this, you'll probably be one of the losers. If you do understand, you may still lose, but at least you'll go down fighting. You don't have to be a computer geek to survive (though that won't hurt), but you do have to understand what's happening and where the opportunities are and are not.
I found this book a little boring: constant examples of what is really the same phenomena repeated for almost 500 pages is a little much if you already "get it" - if you understood back in the mid nineties what was happening and what was about to happen. But there are probably still lots of people who do not "get it" - and unfortunately that includes some of the people who are angry about overseas programmers and call center operators.
If you are smiling right now, you don't need this book. If you have that worried, puzzled look on your face, or are tempted to leave a nasty comment about damn foreigners ruining America, click the link above, buy it with one-click and get overnight delivery: you need this.
Reality bites. Yes, there social programs that we desperately need to help the unprepared get through this, but your best protecton is to learn and do whatever you can to help yourself. Don't count on help coming from anywhere else: it might, but the faster things change (and they change mighty fast nowadays), the less governments are able to help. Government just isn't capable of reacting quickly enough. You need to help yourself if you possibly can.
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