For years I've disliked the notion that the world is flat; it's often just been another one of those generalisations that make keynote speeches and newspaper articles punchy but which, in the cold light of day, clearly doesn't stand up. Andrew Sullivan came up with another term, which carries much more meaning, in his superb Sunday Times piece on how exactly the world may have flattened in some areas, and what it actually led to over the past, bloody decade:
The forces of order simply could not keep up with the alternately empowering and terrifying new modes of communication and technology. This new flat world made Al-Qaeda possible, but it also made Iran’s green revolution viable. It made the iPod ubiquitous but also the IED. It made global security like Microsoft, constantly fending off viruses; and it made insurgency like a million iPhone apps — nimbler, faster, more inventive and more lethal. It made self-defence as much about self-restraint as shock and awe, as much about the silent, incremental avoidance of catastrophe as any victory on a battlefield.
Andrew Sullivan in the Sunday Times
Jeremy Clarkson in the same 'paper shows his admiration for how far we've come, even if he feels the march of progress is lost in a digital puddle. In the next decade I hope that technology continues to take us further and in directions we didn't even know we wanted life taken in. It's exhilarating, entertaining, informative, helpful for making us do more, quicker, and satisfies, no, indulges our needs as social animals.
Technology is for life what Peavey was for rock and roll: the ultimate amplifier.
Picture from Hapal