Search This Blog

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The world is flat
Yet another surprise to Leela

Thats an audacious statement. So I saved the book for a perfect Sunday.
It was a perfect Sunday.

The day before that, I entered a book store that was nearby my office, walked
straight to the salesgirl and asked her if they have this book, 'The world is flat'.

Yes sir, but the paperback edition is not released yet. She then from a heap of
nice smelling books took this one out. I pondered for a moment, looked at the
inside flap which read 8.89 pounds. Translated, thats 689 bucks she said.

On the Sunday morning, I switched off the AC and opened the windows of my
bedroom to let more natural light and asked my all-in-one Srinu to make me
some Coffee. Luckily for me, the pillow fit under my neck in the most
comfortable position. Perrrrrfect!!!

The first two hundred pages were like duh! duh! duh! duh!. Largely because
of my IT background and also largely because it was duh! stuff.

The book opens with a great paragraph from Columbus and moves onto the
golf courses of Bangalore. The author, right from page one comes alive out
of the pages passionately putting forward his argument. (This book is not a
theory). The vivacity of the author shows up in each and every page.

By the time I crossed my 200th page, my neck started to get stiff and the
pillow started turning into a rockbed. So, I took a break, had a light meal
and reclined in my recliner watching TV and wondering if I should continue
reading this book or just shelf it.

I continued reading. The author basically explains you why he thinks this
world is flat (metaphorically speaking) and the forces that were behind it.
He starts with the Berlin wall and ends up with Google and Compaq iPaq.

For an argument to justify a statement as grand as 'The world is flat' I need
more forces than IT. I need more examples than few BPO blips in Bangalore.
By then Bangalore was quoted more than two dozen times. Happens when
the core juice of your argument is running out.

I loved the last 200 pages. The author had not only put forward
his argument, but also showed us how this would effect the world,
the Americas and the politics.

The author also rightly ended the book with a chapter titled
'The world is not flat'. He rightly pointed out to the things that could wrong
and to the things that are wrong at this moment.

I should say, the author is biased towards India and Bangalore.

The problem with writers, especially columnists, is they love words and
cliches. They love creating memes. Hindu fundamentalists, Islam militants,
Dotcom boom, Generation X, Silicon Valley nerds etc. People who love
words and emotions behind them, tend to generalize and fall in love with them.

'The world is flat' is great meme. Everyone who wants to write something on
this topic would love to have a caption like that. No wonder this author won
those Puliltzer prizes. Any writer would love this writer.

It was a good read. Well structured, greatly paced, passionately told.

I was disappointed to see so few examples and so large generalizations.
Author's lack of knowledge in Economics clearly shows up.

This book is yet another great example of 'The State of Fear' theory
put forward by Michael Crichton. Capitalist worlds run on it. They love
constantly creating a new State of Fear for every new generation.
'The commies are coming'. 'The Japs are flooding'. 'The Chinese are growing'.
'The Indians have arrived'.

Ha! I love this world. (Flat or round).


Leela said...

Hmm... now why should I be surprised that the world is flat? :)

Good review. Friedman has interesting points, but keeps repeating them. I found the same applied to Malcolm Gladwell's, 'Blink'.

So the Indian's have arrived, eh?

:-) said...

I thought you would be surprised to know...and to see this review at jdv.

I agree with Malcom Gladwell's stuff. Should be applied to 'the tipping point' too.

Yeah arrived. In all forms and shapes. They are buying houses next to you. Run, run, run.

Twilight Fairy said...

Ya *I* am surprised to see a review here! :)

BTW change these permacomments into something else.. they are so diificult to read :p!

:-) said...

Yeah, these perma comments are becoming a pain in the ass. SO, how you been Fairy? I am waiting for the moon to turn full on your web site. :-)