Saturday, April 22, 2006

The World is Spherical and Bumpy, and Increasingly Becoming "Smaller" in the Sense of Transportation Costs and Cultural, Legal, and Economic Barriers

A good send-up of the Times columnists, and Friedman in particular by Michael Kinsley in Slate magazine:

No, in the end, I have to be honest with myself. These days, my dream
doesn't involve bedbugs and jackals, but a five-star hotel in Rome. That's why I
have decided instead to enter the Times' next contest: "Win a Trip With Tom
Tom writes: "The world, as you know, is flat. If you're not afraid to fall off the edge, if you dream of running up travel expenses that would finance Hannibal's army, if you fantasize about meeting presidents and prime ministers and reminding them that the world is flat, if you can go to Davos and Aspen and Bilderberg and still get it up for the Bohemian Grove, then you may be the right person to accompany me on a unique 'World Is Flat World Tour.' We will be staying in the best hotels and interviewing world leaders day and night. You may find yourself discoursing in Arabic about the flatness of the world with a group of Saudi princes, or even asking the Pope himself, 'Do you agree with Tom Friedman that the world is flat?' All it takes to apply is a 700-word essay on 'Why the World is Flat.' " Tom himself will choose the winner, and they'll immediately be off to St. Petersburg, where you will get to operate the PowerPoint for Tom's presentation titled: "Flatter Will Get You Nowhere: The Limits of World Flatness."

Another good diss

Recently read a review in the Journal of Economic Literature (can't find a link) saying the "world is flat" analogy is inconsistent and meaningless. Claims the world is not becoming more "flat" but perhaps more "small." Several pages devoted to criticizing the use of the word "flat".

Myself, I haven't read the book (or many books) but it is good to poke fun.


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