Monday, January 16, 2006


I finished reading The World is Flat over the holiday break. What was amazing to me is how it has affected me both positively and negatively. I am in awe of the stories Friedman has woven over the course of the book regarding other countries deisre to catch-up with America, but at the same time I am scared. Scared of our children's future if we don't start doing something to bolster their creativity and keep them pushing one another. The other worry I have is regarding China and India. With such an incredible population to use to further their countries' interests (I compare it to Cherry Creek's athletic teams year after year success), I wonder how confident businesses are in expanding their interests over seas when these countries can in a way be viewed as a threat to our future. I recall Friedman addressing this concern in the novel by saying that American interests in these countries benefit both the American's and the Chinese and Indian as well so that none of us want to do anything to damage this relationship. Interesting things for us to ponder!


Blogger Karl Fisch said...

Hmm, CCHS as an analogy for the flat world. I think you should email Thomas Friedman! Seriously, that's a pretty good analogy for the sheer numbers that those countries can "throw" at problems. It's like Friedman says, when you're one in a million in China, there are 1400 or so others just like you. Or when you consider that the top 20% (however you define or measure that) of the Chinese population equals the entire U.S. population.

When you then add in the improving quality of education and opportunities in those countries - analogous to the quality of CCHS's athletic and academic programs - you end up with a formidable "opponent". The idealist in me says "Great, better for the planet and the human race." The parent in me says "What can I do to protect Abby?"

As far as businesses being worried about those countries being a threat to "our" country, I think businesses in general don't think that way. They are chartered to do the best they can for their company (shareholders, employees, customers) - and it doesn't matter to the "business" what country that takes place in - or benefits. That's globalization at its best (or worst depending on your perspective) and I generally agree with Friedman that it's here to stay. So - to echo comments others have made to The Fischbowl and their personal blogs - how do we both alert our students to this "danger", and encourage them to build the desire and the skills necessary to succeed in a "flat" world?

4:00 PM  
Blogger James H said...

I know what you mean. I had the same feeling just from reading chapter 6 of that book.

12:41 PM  

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