The World Is Flat.

Week 12- April 13, 2009

Never considered myself of a fan of Friedman, but now, I am rethinking my stance. I appreciate the way he is engaging in the global issues of the world and challenging himself, readers, and the world to think outside the box. It seems to me that the term “flat” is synonymous for interconnectedness on a positive and prosperous level. The unflat world is not so much, thus the “only way out is through new ways of collaboration between” the two worlds.

The beginning of this collaboration will also usher in the beginning of “trust” and at the decline of “fear.” Different players with different views will seize to feel threatened but seek to understand, to “use their imagination…to lift people up” (p. 613). We will be more careful about bombing nations for which we have little just cause, and more eager to engage them in mutual respect. Way to bring trust into the conversation Pat!

To address this question of “when fear or love has affected…ability to bridge cultural…divides?” I will have to disagree with Friedman and say that it was our era of being the only superpower, with “the world [as] our oyster” that has contributed to the fear that limits American leaders from bridging gaps. For example with China’s rise in power and affluence, I am not particularly concerned about China’s (and Asia’s) response to America’s number 1 status than I am of our response to their ascension. We’ve made up all these reasons to why China’s rise is concerning, when I think it is simply because we are experiencing humiliation at not being the sole power. We need to want to be part of those cultures that thrive on “sudden opportunities for collaboration” (p. 555). It will be the only way for us to remain a beloved superpower—if we so desperately want to keep the title!

And nice choice on the Kiwi-Strawberry Nathan might just get one tomorrow! ;o)

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs