City of the flat world

"The World is flat" is a book from Thomas Friedman about globalization and the changes it is bringing to the world, companies and individuals. The main point is that the World has become a level playing field on a worldwide basis.
The collapse of Marxist Leninist style of regimes has allowed 3 billions of people (Russia, China, India and others) to join the capitalist system. The Internet and other technologies have made communicating with the whole word something easy. Work flow software allows to cut service work into pieces that can be separated and done anywhere in the world, before being put together. This was previously only possible with production of goods. Manufacturing is now "off-shored" to places like China. Services can be "outsourced offshore". Most people connected to the Internet can "upload" their creations or point of view in such things as this blog, or wikipedia (that is very difficult to access in China because it’s banned). All data and information created by humans can be accessed and searched via search engines and the Internet.
I read this book within a few days mostly in the plane as I was traveling between Asia and Europe. For most people involved in international business, it’s very clear that the world has actually gone flat. Although, the book did not bring much news to me, it’s still enjoyable to read an analysis of this phenomenon that is influencing our lives so greatly. The version I read was the one from 2006, that was already revised, though I think one point was missing. Friedman explain clearly that the information is becoming much more diverse, with a very large share of the Internet being in other languages than English… but the reasoning does not go to the logical conclusion, i.e. that native English speakers should also learn foreign languages instead of waiting for others to learn there, being able to master it along with their own.
During the whole reading, I could not stop thinking about Shanghai today. This city is the center of the business battlefield for the largest market in the world. Any company of a respectable size has to be in China and most multinational companies make it the center of their growth for the next decades. As a consequence, the city is full with foreigners from any nationality you can think of. Shanghai today is one of the metropolis of the flat world… and will maybe become it’s capital though there is still a long way to go. Thanks to Friedman’s "flattening factors" Shanghai is everyday becoming more of a world city.

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