the world is flat ( thomas l. friedman)

Project Description:

from your own perspective, and from a critical reading of the textbook or listening to the lecture, answer/discuss the following questions. if you do not have the background or interest to answer a question, it is okay to not actively contribute to the discussion of that question. but you are expected to make substantial contributions to a majority of the following questions. you are also expected to read a majority, if not all, of the postings and responses of others.

1. “but friedman's image of a flat earth is profoundly misleading — a view of the world from a seat in business class. flatness is another way of describing the transnational search by companies for cheap labor, an image that misses the pervasiveness of global inequality and the fact that much of the developing world remains mired in poverty and misery. it also misses the importance of the global geopolitical hierarchy, which guarantees the provision of stability, property rights, and other international public goods. the rise of china and india is less about flatness than it is about dramatic upheavals in the mountains and valleys of the global geopolitical map.”

question: do you agree or disagree with this view by a critic, and to what extent? give reasons and explain your position.

2. “i am working from new zealand for my company based in tokyo using internet, and am also studying at the university of hawaii for my third masters degree while based in nz again using internet. i have to also travel to the pacific islands for business, but i can email and skype back to new zealand to check on my 3 years daughter who is with my husband. with skype (voip) i can make calls to japan much cheaper than calling from the office in tokyo. also my business counterparts, colleagues, friends and family in japan can make calls to me with domestic calls using skype. thus, this book convinced me that i am living in a flat world.”

question: give example(s) from your own world (in which you live or work or interact with,) of the world getting flat, how it has affected you, and how your life or work has changed as a result.

3. what qualities enabled india to take center stage when the looming y2k scenario generated unprecedented demand for programmers? what can other nations learn from india's success in this realm? what are india's greatest vulnerabilities? (chapter two, "the world is flat")

4. in what ways has the triple convergence affected your day-to-day life? (chapter three, "the world is flat")

5. discuss the "indiana versus india" anecdote, recounted in the second section of chapter four, a portion of which is reproduced at the end of this task, for your convenience. which approach benefits americans more: offshoring state projects and cutting taxpayer expenditures, or paying higher wages to maintain job security at home?

6. chapter seven, "the quiet crisis," outlines three dirty secrets regarding american dominance: fewer young americans pursuing careers in math and science, and the demise of both ambition and brainpower among american youth. what accounts for this? what would it take to restore academic rigor and the enthusiasm enjoyed during the "man on the moon" days?

7. friedman contemplates the cultural traits (such as motivated, educated workers and leaders who don't squander the nation's treasure) that drive a nation's success. he uses this to illustrate why mexico, despite nafta, has become the tortoise while china has become the hare. does america fit friedman's cultural profile as a nation poised for prosperity? (chapter nine)

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