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Hello flat world! May 6, 2007

Posted by sensawunda in Books.

Where were you when you realized the world is flat?

The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman has permeated business thought to the point where it’s alluded to in an IBM television commercial.

Waitaminnit, you may be thinking. Business? What’s that got to do with sensawunda?

I’ll tell ya. You may have heard that you “should” read this book. I’m here to tell you why I’m actually ENJOYING reading this book!

What makes this book interesting is how it shifts my weltanschauung. He shows how several well-known but seemingly unrelated events of the last twenty years have combined to create what some are calling the “new world order”—not one that’s imposed by shadowy men of power, but one that’s growing organically from the soil of the Internet, whether the “powers-that-be” like it or not.

One of my previous posts talks about this… I quoted Stephen Baxter:

Sensawunda can come from changing the reader’s perception, through dramatic revelations of the nature of the new world, from rushes of extrapolation of the central idea, from changes of scale or perspective.

Baxter’s talking about fiction, but this applies equally well to The World is Flat. It jars me into recognition of the new patterns of modern life that I had dimly perceived but not thought through. One “a-ha” moment after another, building a grand new vision, adds up to sensawunda in non-fiction.




1. annette - May 6, 2007

okay, ya sold me; kin i borrow your copy?

hey buddy, saw that you paid my site a visit (thank you) so i figured i’d return the favour. and after our discussion and your review, i hope to pick up a copy soon.

one thought: just because there’s grassroots in the soil doesn’t mean those looming shadows can’t get in the way. makes me appreciate dandelions that much more.

2. sensawunda - May 7, 2007

Sure you kin borrow it… do you have an Illinois library card? 😉

It turns out I’m not reading the latest edition. My library has the original, but I see on Amazon that it’s been “Revised and Updated.” Hmm. I might have to snag a comfy chair in Barnes & Noble and read it there. Gawrsh I’m cheap! 😀

3. superfastreader - May 16, 2007

Sounds good–I’ll look for it.

I’ve tagged you for a meme, if you have time/inclination to do it. You can read about it here:


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