erica cheng

Monday, October 31, 2005

The World is Flat & Ecologizing Mobile Media

In The World is Flat, Friedman eagerly anticipates and holds positive attitude toward the changes that technology brings to the world. Yet, in Rheingold’s Ecologizing Mobile Media, the changes that mobile media bring to human life are both positive and negative.

In my opinion, Friedman actually is defending for outsourcing, urging Americans to be more ambitious and open-minded, so as to keep competitiveness in the flattened world. He emphasizes much on the changes new technologies has brought to individuals/companies, the free-market, and capitalism. Also, he points out that technology has leveled the playing field and empowered individuals and companies to connect and collaborate globally. He examines the new players (India, China, Russia, etc.) and explains why technology makes them capable of becoming the players. His idea of people connecting and collaborating horizontally, instead of vertically, is quite new to me. The triple convergence--complementary convergence of the ten flatteners, which creates the new playing field, new ways/processes/habits of doing things, and connecting and collaborating horizontally—is key to success for the new players (India, China, etc.) as well as the traditional leading players (America, Western Europe, Japan, etc.). Globalization is increasingly driven by the individuals who understand the flat world and can adapt themselves to its process and technologies.

Furthermore, I appreciate his opinion that dot-com boom and bust actually drove globalization into hypermode (forcing companies to outsource and offshore more and more functions in order to save capital), rather than symbolized the end of globalization. People should know how to make the most use of the technologies, so as to collaborate, connect, communicate, and finally be able to catch up with the whole world. There is still long way to go in this newly flat world.

In Ecologizing Mobile Media, Rheingold mentions that every new technology benefits some and harms others. People who know how to make use of new technology gain advantages; yet, those who don't know how to use new technology tend to be eliminated. This idea is similar to Friedman’s emphasis that individuals should adapt themselves to new technology available to them, and then make advantage of these new tools to maintain presence and competitveness.

However, Rheingold also points out the disadvanges technology has brought to human life. He takes the use of mobile telephone as an example, refering that people can always be in touch, always reachable via mobile telephone. The disadvantage lies on that people have to always stand by their jobs; the boss can always catch them via mobile telephone.


  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger Meg said…

    I like your comparison of the two readings Erica and I agree that Friedman is far more positive of the two. I do think that Friedman does have some cautions for all of us but I certainly am all for his version of the future.


  • At 11:25 PM, Blogger Anny said…

    I'm searching high and low for content blogs and The World is Flat & Ecologizing Mobile Media has been useful so thanks erica cheng. Mine is on how to organize time. Nathan

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    This is a diamond ace content blog Blogger and after reading The World is Flat & Ecologizing Mobile Media I thought I'd send you a shout out. My main project is for organise home

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  • At 6:34 PM, Blogger Anny said…

    When I found your blog erica cheng I spent more time on it than I usually would when browsing, so congratulations, and also on The World is Flat & Ecologizing Mobile Media. My own work is focussed on organize computer files and organize computer files too. Nathan

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