Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman

Rock stars get room keys, I get business cards.

The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention argues that no two countries that are both part of the same global supply chain will ever fight a war as long as they are each part of that supply chain.

Several technological and political forces have converged, and that has produced a global, Web-enabled playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration without regard to geography or distance – or soon, even language.

Basically all the world’s computer parts come from the same supply chain that runs from Korea, down through coastal China, over to Taiwan, and down to Malaysia.

I think we have lost our groove as a country. One of the reasons was the attack on 9/11. We got knocked off our game. From a country that always exported hope we went into the business of exporting fear.

America needs rebooting.

By ‘flat’ I did not mean that the world is getting equal. I said that more people in more places can now compete, connect and collaborate with equal power and equal tools than ever before. That’s why an Indian in Bangalore can take care of the office work of American doctors or read the X-rays of German hospitals.

It created a global platform that allowed more people to plug and play, collaborate and compete, share knowledge and share work, than anything we have ever seen in the history of the world.

If you followed this economic crisis and you do not think that the world is getting flatter, you are not paying attention. We saw the entire global economy at one time acting totally in sync. The real truth is the world is even flatter than I thought. Our mortgage crisis is killing Deutsche Bank. You still don’t think the world is flat?

Al Qaeda is nothing more than a mutant supply chain. They’re playing off the same platform as Wal-Mart and Dell. They’re just not restrained by it. What is al Qaeda? It’s an open source religious political movement that works off the global supply chain. That’s what we’re up against in Iraq. We’re up against a suicide supply chain.

McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15.

Supply chains cannot tolerate even 24 hours of disruption. So if you lose your place in the supply chain because of wild behavior you could lose a lot. It would be like pouring cement down one of your oil wells.

No, most of our political elite has not realized that the world is flat.

If you don’t visit the bad neighborhoods, the bad neighborhoods are going to visit you.

I am hoping, though, that many of them have kids, who, when they have a moment to take a break from their iPods, Internet, or Google, will explain to their parents running the country just how the world is being flattened.

I was in Bangalore, India, the Silicon Valley of India, when I realized that the world was flat.

I firmly believe that the next great breakthrough in bioscience could come from a 15-year-old who downloads the human genome in Egypt.

I have a daughter who is a sophomore in college and another who is in the 11th grade of high school.

I basically did all the library research for this book on Google, and it not only saved me enormous amounts of time but actually gave me a much richer offering of research in a shorter time.

Sometimes, when my wife and I were going out to dinner, I would take my laptop with me and work in the car, so as to take advantage of the half hour going and coming.