In chapter 12, The Unflat World: No Guns or Cell Phones Allowed, Friedman
takes on some of his critics (presumably those who critiqued the first
edition of the book) by saying that he is a technological determinist
but not a historical determinist (and he knows the world is not actually
flat). As someone who is not a historical determinist, Friedman realizes
that simply because technology exists and has the potential to shrink
the world that does not mean all people in all places will --or can--
embrace it. In this chapter, Friedman explores some of the reasons why
flattening could go wrong. He sets out to answer the following questions:
What are the biggest constituencies, forces, or problems impeding this
flattening process, and how might we collaborate better to overcome them?
Friedman proposes three scenarios in which the world would remain unflattened
for some people.
The first group of people for whom the world might not flatten is comprised
of those who are too sick. Friedman details the squalor of life in rural
villages in places such as Africa, China, and India. Diseases, like malaria,
that can be cured in the flat world are killing millions in the unflat
world because they do not have the financial or educational resources
to stop their transmission. Other diseases, such as AIDS, are rampant
in these places because people are uneducated about how they spread. Friedman
shows how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is trying to help the
other 3 billion people in the world by raising and distributing funds
and awareness throughout these nations to help people combat disease.
Friedman points out the dual nature of the tragedy of disease: there is
the personal level, where people are suffering and families are broken;
there is also the global level, where potential collaborators in knowledge
are lost. Another aspect of too sick is what could happen if a pandemic
hit the flat world. Because the...........
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