The World is Flat

“They couldn’t quite describe what was happening, but by 2000 they sensed that they were in touch with people they’d never been in touch before, were being challenged by people who had never challenged them before, were competing with people who they had never competed before, were collaborating with people whom they had never collaborated before, and were doing things as individuals they had never dreamt of doing before. What they were feeling was the flattening of the world.”

Excerpt from The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

The author’s statement sums up what many of us have been experiencing but can’t best describe. Though we know globalisation has spreaded and is spreading rapidly, but we do not really know the full extent of its affects especially us, being consumers (lowest of the food chain order).

I believe most of us do not realise that we have shifted from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. Or for that matter understand what being in this Information Age means for many of us.

In this Information Age, the playing field has been levelled as information is freely available and accessible. No longer it is just the top people who knows and can decide, but even the lower end. The Information Age has challenged hierachies from below to transform themselves from top-down structures into more horizontal and collaborative ones.

As the author explains, “The genesis of the flat world platform now enables more people to author more content, and to collaborate on that content. It also enables us to upload files and globalise that content- individually or as part of self-reforming communities- without going thru any of the traditional hierarchial organisation/institutions” 

And adding further, he explains that , “we now have access/power to upload/ send out products/ ideas for free rather.”

Personally as a blogger, I have to agree completely =p

The questions that beg to be answered by us:

  • What are we doing about it? Are we just ignorant or resistant to change?
  • Are we utilising it in the right manner? Or just using it for pleasure and indulgence?
  • As Christians, how are we leveraging on it to extend His kingdom in reaching out and connecting others to Him? We can influence many through a global marketplace or cyber communities.  
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2 thoughts on “The World is Flat

  1. “Global Talent does not shed tears” by Yau Lop Poon (ST, Review Pg 19, 9 April 07)

    The world is a level playing field. Talent moves around easily. Diverse talent moves around in diverse ways. Boundaries fade away, a new order is born: Have talent, will travel- if this place is not for me, I can always go somewhere else.

    The phenomenon is causing global movements in human resources. The human tendency is to move to higher ground. But higher ground does not mean just money. It also hinges on whether the social milieu allows talented people to realise their potential for imagination and creativity to the fullest.

    The United States has been a magnet for talent, paving the way for its rise. During the 1930s, as anti-semitism raged in Europe, the elite among German Jews flocked to America. Jews such a Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger rose to prominence in their new country and changed the course of American history.

    The openness of the US and its policy towards talent- one that transcends race and religion- have made the nation strong. So a prerequisite for the “rise of big nations” is an open attitude towards talent.

    Singapore understands that for small nations to rise, there is a greater need to attract the best talent in the world, to give the new immigrants a stage to display their talent and skills, and a role in the writing of the Singapore story.

    This story has been the makings of a powerful drama: an island nation, lacking in natural resources, survives by constantly innovating, breaking old conventions and creating value-add.

    Why is SIngapore’s per capita GDP top in Asia? Because it has foresight and boldness to do what others have not done before: to absorb human resource from its surrounding regions.

    As recently as a few years ago, students from mainland China were prohibited from working in Hong Kong after completing their studies there. To return to Hong Kong to work, they had to overcome many bureaucratic roadblocks. Many who had been trained at Hong Kong taxpayers’ expense thus flocked to Singapore.

    Similarly, many Chinese Malaysians who find their personal development thwarted by their country’s laws have decided to go to Singapore and other countries in search of an alternative stage, an alternative script and the possibility of another life.

    The great migration of global talent is powered by a bold spirit. They may not be like Einstein or Kissinger, but they do not believe in shedding tears in the face of adversity. In a foreign place, qualifications and salaries are immaterial. With their hands and passion in their hearts, they will create their own legends, and legends for their new country in the process.

  2. Well, the world is flat again!
    Sound like HP ads right – The PC is personal again!
    Things do change, like the Pastor Jeff say, People will quick to blame others first. Every adversity have a purpose which we do not know.
    Something don’t kill you, it meant to strengthen you.
    When people are not against you, they are for you.
    In the adversity, Jew may learn the hard way, every trial and tribulation mould them more like God, their heavenly Father.
    In the Exodus, Pharaoh kill the Jew children. But God did aveage for the Jew. Like God tell the Egyptian, You have killed my first born (the Jews), I will kill your first born. In the last plague, God did kill Egyptian first born.
    Kingdom come and Kingdom fell, their kingdom build upon the blood of men.
    But Kingdom of God are build with the Spirit that delight them, Who He call His own.
    Children of God, when will they draw their sword that their Father bestow to them. When will they draw the Sword of Spirit to fight against their sin and sins of the world.
    Be strong and courageous, and face the brave new world.

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