Blog Entry #3 - "The Triple Convergence"

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OOPS! Here's that elusive Blog Entry #3. Sorry about the confusion.

By this time, you were supposed to have read Chapter 3, "The Triple Convergence ." Answer one of the following two questions. I'll expect a comment of one good paragraph or more. (To me, that means 5-6 sentences at a minimum.) Remember that this is a public site, and you are responsible for the content of your postings. Assume that each comment is worth up to 5 points.

YOUR COMMENT SHOULD BE POSTED BEFORE CLASS TIME ON TUESDAY IN ORDER TO GET FULL CREDIT.


A. On pages 202 - 203, Friedman begins to get at the heart of what he means by "the triple convergence." My question is simple. Of the three, which convergence do you believe will have most profoundly influenced the world by the time you have graduated from college? Why?

B. On pages 228 - 229, Friedman begins discussing what he calls the "other" triple convergence, one that masked much of what is described earlier in the chapter. He is referring to the dot-com bust, 9/11, and the scandals in corporate governance. Do you believe these, or any other factors, can stop the continued impact of the ten flatteners and the triple convergence? Why or why not?

24 Comments


I think that all three convergences could and will be prominent aspects of the future but I believe that number three will just boom. I believe that number one and two are in sense within number three. That is because without one or two, three would never be able to occur. Without the global playing field and new business connection China India and others would not have the chance to do what they are doing now, nor would the United States be getting what they get now without any of this. The connection between China and US, and India and US, are relationships that are only going to get deeper and more intertwined as time goes on. There is no way for either party to back out because everyone is so invested in these connections. All of these fast connections that we have, only help the relationships between US, China and India. To be able to just connect or plug in and talk across the world or compete across the world just by a wire… that is easy, and cheap and that is what everyone wants. There is nothing here that would stop the connection between countries nor slow it down, these convergences are only speeding it up and maybe making more convergences. With nothing to slow down the competition, connections and growth of relationships will boom. But none of this would be possible without the global playing field and the new ways of business.

Out of all three Convergences I believe that the second would influence our world the most by 2013. I agree with Meghan that they all seem to rely on each other to some extent but they are also all different. The Second Convergence, unlike both the first and third, can always be modified. There are limitless ways that we can construct machines in order to accomplish an activity in the most efficient and inexpensive way. Because of our newly flattened world companies such as HP, Cisco, and Nokia have been working together to create smaller and more powerful devices that can accomplish many functions at the same time. Just look at what new products have come into the market since this book was written. The iPhone in particular is a great example, a small portable computer that you can do virtually anything on and don’t have to be a genius to use. Companies all over the world are coming together to create devices that will serve the consumers every need and it is unlikely that our needs will ever stop changing. This means that businesses will keep turning out new products and thus the second convergence will never cease to exist.

I think that number three will have the biggest influence on the world by the time we graduate from college. With all the new people getting into the flattened world, it will change the way we do everything, and how we think about the world. It already has. People we never even thought about before are now becoming both our competition and our co-workers. And there’s only going to be more people joining in, as it gets easier and cheaper to get connected with the entire globe.

Of the three convergences, I believe that the third convergence will affect the world the most by the time I graduate from college. The third convergence is "the three billion plus people who had been locked out of the field who suddenly found themselves liberated to plug and play with everyone else." These people have never been able to compete and collaborate before because they lived in closed economies. These people are now the new players. Giving so many people the access to these tools of collaboration ensures that the next generation of innovations will come from all over the planet. Now that the door is opened for these some 3 billion people, competition will greatly increase, notably in the workforce. It will be much harder for people like me to get jobs when there are an extra 3 billion people looking for good jobs as well.

Personally, I believe that the third convergence (while combined with the second convergence) will have the largest impact on the world. With China and India's (the two largest nations in the world) people open to work and spread their work and ideas all throughout the world, the world will look like a much different place in 4 years. I think this will make the world seem much flatter when people from the United States are working together with people literally across the globe on projects (like the Harvard students using Skype with the Chinese students). Ideas and work will spread much faster, allowing more and more people to connect, making the world practically unified. When we graduate from college, thanks to convergence three, the world will be a much flatter place for everyone.

I believe that the second convergence will be most prominent when we graduate, because I feel like we are still in that phase and I do not believe we will be out of it, until maybe even after that. It talks about how people need to adjust to the new technologies and new resources that are available as well as programs need to become available for us to benefit from what is introduced. I think we are getting used to things still and still making them widely available, not everyone has a gps in their car, not everyone has texting (or knows how to use it), not everyone has a computor readily available with internet connection as soon as they need it. I see in the future that things like this will be part of the norm, and everything will be so much more convinient to move forward.
Also, We are living in an age with many brilliant minds, so because we have the new technologies that I talked about above, even more are being produced. I would vouch that the world of cell phones (how recent they still are) was changed by the introduction of the iphone. Things are constantly being introduced for us to get use to and develop programs and habits with them to reap the benefits of them. I think we may constantly be stuck in stage 2 as long as new groundbreaking things are being introduced, as they are.

I also agree with Dan and Meghan that the third convergence, in conjunction with the second, will affect my post-college world the most. Because China and India's workforces are now included in the global workforce, it opens opportunities to everyone in the county. As he explains in more detail later in the chapter, opportunity is no longer based on geography. With the third convergence, anyone in the world with the same merit and talent has the same opportunity. This helps everyone in the world by opening up opportunities for success to regions of the world that were previously limited. I think with the added innovation of the entire population of countries like China and India, the world will change at a much faster pace in the future.

Question 1

Of the three convergences, i believe that the third one is the most likely to happen by the time we graduate. (considering that right now it is happening and we are about to graduate in a mere few weeks.) the world has changed drastically in the past five or so years, and like the book stated, China, India, and parts of the ex-soviet union have "plugged in" and started to become huge competitors in the western world. The book states that after the Berlin wall fell all of the people who were "locked" away behind came out onto the playing field. Bringing new ideas and lots of competition. The book states that there is a 50 year time span of knowledge that has been pent up and is not just being released onto the flattened world. like stated before these new ideas and motivation to move to the top are good ways for the global economy to move forward and develop!

In regards to which convergence will affect the world the most, I think it will be the triple convergence. Even Friedman himself stated, “It is this triple convergence – of new players, on a new developing new processes and habits for horizontal collaboration – that is the most important force shaping global economics” (211). The reasons are obvious. By adding more players into the work force, the work force becomes progressively more competitive. Not only are there more people, but also more power and initiative directed towards the individual. While this will be the most important convergence in the future, I think that most important convergence is the second – people adapting to the use of technology. Without this adjustment by society, the technology would be useless and ineffective. Changing the way people can be productive will completely alter society, which has already occurred.

The convergence that will most greatly impact the world before I graduate from college is the third one. This idea of everyone in the world being able to compete against each other is interesting, but I feel like the potential lies not in competition here, but in cooperation. The fact that it is now easier and cheaper to communicate with people all over the world makes it much easier to find mediums of communication with others that you would otherwise being almost completely ostracized from. While we by no means experience this (especially at MPA) I have played video games online with people speaking many different languages or read youtube feeds with several different languages. Although, because of potential mistranslation or just different acceptance of certain things in different cultures and languages I think that we have to be careful here too.

The convergence that seems most likely to me to greatly impact the world before I graduate from college is the third one. I definitely agree with Andrew when he says that making everyone able to compete with each other also opens up an opportunity for cooperation. I think the fact that everyone is now able to use the same means of communication (especially because it's a whole lot cheaper to communicate world-wide now via things like fiber-optics) definitely makes it easier for other countries who were previously unable to function well economically to thrive nowadays in what Friedman calls the "free-market game." And it helps not only the country but the people in it as well. This has made it possible for the the workforces of other countries to get a lot larger, giving millions of people new jobs.

I believe that the third convergence will have the biggest impact on the world. With large countries like China and India's people beginning to share their ideas through the world, the globe will take on a much different image. The idea of the world becoming flatter will become more real as communication and collaboration with countries thousands of miles away continue to spread. When we graduate from college the world will be flatter and things will become even more technological based and simplified.

by the time we get out of college the third coverage is going to have had the biggest impact. by leveling the playing field and allowing other an opportunity to use the tools at hand the world is going to drastically change. the other coverages will be very easy to adapt to and with having other countries playing the game it makes the third the most important.

The convergence that seems most likely to greatly impact the world before I graduate from college is the third one. I agree with both Asha and Andrew when they say that making everyone able to compete with each other on an equal playing field opens up an opportunity for cooperation. I believe that the fact that everyone is able to use the same means of communication makes it much easier on countries that have not been doing well economically in the past. This helps the people along with the country. This kind of world wide communication has provided millions of new jobs.

Of the three convergence that Freidman talks about, i believe that by 2013 the effects talked about in the second convergence will have the largest impact. When i am graduating from college i believe that all of the technology that has been introduced in the past several years will finally be caught up on a global scale. For instance the new smart boards being introduced in college allows for a better class and even if you miss a class there is a downloadable video you can watch. By 2013 i believe this will have made its way through private universities into state college, high schools and so on. Also new technologies such as improved computer programs in high schools is reshaping education in the U.S. and will be on a global level by 2013. Also the invention on online college and online GED can help people without the opportunity of high school to get better jobs. By 2013 the world will be as flat as a finely sanded and polished granite surface. With the connectivity growing everyday and the increase on online users everyone everywhere can communicate and trade information.

I think it’s pretty clear that of the three convergences, the third will have the most influence by the time we graduate college. The increasingly open governments of China and India have already had a huge economic effect on the United States. In four years the influence of Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia will no doubt have increased as well. I am not sure if all the influence will be positive, but I am sure that there will be a change in our relationship with much of the world that has traditionally been more isolated and marginalized by “the West.” Through the 80’s our relationship with Latin America was dominated by banana republics and shady deals with ruthless dictators. It will be interesting to see how our relationship changes with leaders like Morales under an Obama presidency.

I think the convergence that will have the largest influence by the time we graduate is the third one. I agree with many of the posts that say that allowing everyone to compete equally opens opportunity for cooperation. With everyone using the same means of communication, we are much more worldly in our everyday lives. COntacting someone across the world is now just a click on your computer or cell phone away. If everyone has this opportunity, the playing field will clearly be leveled.

In response to question two, yes I do believe that this second triple convergence could halt or severely slow the progress that has been made by the ten flatteners. The things included in the second triple convergence are things that make countries and business reluctant to trade with each other and it breaks down the trust necessary for a flat world. 9/11 in particular caused airports to shut down and limited led to the sensorship of much information that makes the world rounder. In the case of the dot-com bust, it was not as profitable to flatten the world as it was during the dot-com boom so progress on communication and "information at your fingertips" took a hit. The scandals in corporate governance make all parties wary of the outcome of working with each other making the world rounder. All in all, this second triple convergence is adversely affecting the flattening of the world by instilling fear and mistrust.

I believe that convergence three will have the largest effect on the largest amount of people in the next 4 years. As the military and other developers believe competition creates better products, and if the world as a whole is competition then the greatest amount of people will benefit. This competition, will create a great invention boom, where more people will experience life's benefits.

Question 1

It's difficult to decide which convergence will have influenced more people by the year 2013, but since I have to pick just one, I would have to go with convergence three. I agree with Kelsey, since there are 3 million new people in the flattened world its going to change how we do things and its going to create more competition and will be able to collaborate. Now that 3 billion people that lived in closed economies are able to compete in the workforce, its going to be harder for people to find jobs.

The third convergence will have the greatest impact on the world in the next few years. As more parts of the world become technologically advanced, more people are going to be able to work together. Friedman says that a global community working together like this has never been seen before. It will be interesting to see if it has a positive outcome. Of course this level of global interaction is also good for people who would want to inflict harm on the US. So even though it's good for us, it's also good for them.

I believe that the third convergence ("the three billion plus people who had been locked out of the field who suddenly found themselves liberated to plug and play with everyone else.") will have the greatest impact on the 21st century because these people live in oppressed countries where the world revolution will most likely begin. The workers of the first world, whom Trotsky rightly points are indeed oppressed, are nevertheless complacent and loyal to their capitalist masters and will never start a revolution. Therefore it falls to the workers of Africa, Asia, and Latin America to defeat imperialism and exploitation and begin to build socialism. At this point the first world may join them, if not they will have to be defeated.

In response to Question A, I believe that by 2013 Convergence number two will have the greatest affect on the world. As we grow into a more global society, we have become more dependent on the technology. Many tasks that were once handled manually have been replaced by gadgets and gizmos. Machines such as laptops, ipods and cell phones are able to multi-task efficiently and quickly has become a vital part of society. Companies will continue to manufacture machines that will eventually take over the manual tasks of humans today. In 2013 I believe that simple, daily life tasks and jobs of will be replaced with machines, therefore, leading to a decrease of labor in the work field. The integration of technology will create a new, more efficient and inexpensive way of life. The world will undergo many cultural changes as nations become solely dependent on one another. All in all, the advancement of technology will cause a drastic change in our world and ultimately lead to new and necessary changes that will occur in the work field and the larger community.

Question A:
By the time I've graduated from college, I believe the third convergence will be most relevant. I think convergences one and two have already taken their big hit of influence over the world - we already offer super advanced technology, and we've already perfected the act of maximizing productivity. The third convergence will have the greatest influence because it is a fairly recent concept, as well as a drastically new change. In this convergence, Friedman gives notice to the 3 billion people who are new players in the world economy due to the fall of the Berlin wall and the rise of the "Berlin mall". By year 2000, communism was dead in the Soviet Empire, India had turned from autarky, and China had shifted to market capitalism - so the new economic world grew to include 6 billion people. Friedman puts it into perspective for us in his mentioning that 54 percent of India's population is under the age of 25 (555 million people = almost twice as many people than are living in the US). It's pretty intimidating to face the fact that our generation will be competing with so many new,driven, young "zippies" who are determined to grab a piece of the "good life".

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Vergin published on April 9, 2009 8:00 AM.

Lesson #9 - The "Failing" (Failed?) States was the previous entry in this blog.

Blog Entry #4 - "The Great Sorting Out" is the next entry in this blog.

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