Saturday, November 21, 2009

The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
By Thomas L. Friedman
Farrar, Straw, and Giroux, 2006. 488 pgs. Nonfiction

This book was more than I expected. It gives a brief overview of how computer technology has developed and impacted the world since the advent of the PC. The PC was followed by Windows which was followed by the world wide web, all of which create a platform for doing business in an entirely new way. The effect is to connect people, information, and materials, from the various levels of society and from disparate places on earth. There is some really interesting innovation going on. For example, did you know that UPS is repairing busted laptops? (silly me, I just thought they did deliveries).

Despite the array of interesting information, I felt that this book contained too much repetitive information--in fact, I think the book could have been much more effective if it were edited down to about half its size (it's 660 pages). I actually listened to this on CD so it was 15 discs (over 19 hours). An interesting feature of the audio program was that whenever the text of the book would refer to itself it substituted the words "audio program". Highly recommended, despite the length.

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