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Jacky Tang

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What does the future of globalization look like?

The world has undoubtedly become increasingly interconnected. The way in which our economic and political boundaries have merged have changed the ways nations interact with one another. We not only trade goods and money, but also trade jobs and ideas to compete in this international market.

In addition to these hard changes from the top down, information from the bottom up are also impacting the way the world evolves. Citizens at the individual level can influence the realms of art and culture. Videos people post change how things like dance, film, visual arts and music evolve. The internet has provided anyone with a voice and ideas are traded far more quickly and easily than ever before.

Even knowledge, not just information, travels quickly. People in developing nations can educate themselves or are provided more educational opportunities by accessing the internet.

With all of these connections the world is starting to look very different than it ever has. My question is how far will things go? Will levels of knowledge eventually level off around the world? As a result of equal opportunities and educational levels will economies become more balanced? Will the global gap start to close? What other innovations and advancements can human civilization be capable of as we become increasingly more interdependent on one another?

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    Mar 9 2011: Jacky. Personally I'm hopeful, however we are liable to go through some growing pains.

    One thing to consider is this:

    The World is Spiky
    http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic30774.files/2-2_Florida.pdf

    In contrast to Tom Friedman's insistence that "The World is Flat", the author makes an argument that globalization is occurring in a way that maintains or increases social stratification.

    What do you think?
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      Mar 14 2011: Well if the circumstances surrounding the process of globalization aren't kept in check then it can always be taken advantage of. Regardless of whatever system emerges nothing is perfect. There are always ways to work the system and abuse the loopholes. The main topic I wanted to address is whether or not despite all of these obstacles would we still progress as a whole and improve as a whole. For me the answer is yes.

      Social stratification will always exist. It is a natural phenomenon that emerges from complex systems with any form of hierarchy. Even if you look within those 'spiky' cities each one has a wide range in levels of income and quality of life. New York City is probably one of the best examples of the kind of diverse living conditions. Nothing can ever be truly 'flat' unless it was through an absolute top-down government, but even then there would be a power differential between the government and the people. Extreme communism never was meant to be realized.

      The world is getting 'flat' on a global scale through the spread of markets and the sectors that fuel the growth of markets, which are namely cities. More and more focus is being redirected to cities because of the need for close knit communications and organization. Companies are just easier to organize when it's all in the same building. But just as China, and India to a lesser extent, rose through the displacement of jobs from the United States I believe the focus China is placing on Africa will eventually push more opportunities into that region as well.

      So, as the world grows and beomes increasingly globalized disparity at the international level will begin to decline but disparity at other scales aren't necesary for this to happen. Just like organs in a body, the different individual cells have different needs and requirements but the body as a whole is in a state of balance. I don't think we are quite at that homeostatic state yet but it will come in time.
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      Mar 22 2011: Thanks Tim. I enjoyed that pdf that you attached.

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