01 February 2008

The world is flat

Thomas L. Friedman talking at MIT about his bestseller "The World is Flat" {search for 'The World is Flat' on iTunes}. A lucid and engaging account of what globalization is and implies. Identifies 10 factors globalizing the world. I'll plug the best mathematical description of globalization I know of yet again: Watts & Strogatz (1998) Collective dynamics of 'small-world' networks. Nature 393:p440-442 (pdf). Some of the best 3 pages you'll ever read (if you disagre, read them again). Through the internet, the world is taking on the properties of a small-world network.

Here's Charlie Rose interviewing Friedman about the book. One interesting anecdote: he says Bill Gates told him the best new software they're getting today is from China and that the way the Chinese do it is they went around the top universities in China with IQ tests and hired the top of the top of the top. What's the average IQ of the top 0.0000001% in a population of 1.3 billion? 195? 210? 225? 250? Say what you will of IQ but that's sharp.

In other news, Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion (article). Heavy.
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