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Quote Of The Day - Flat Earth Edition

''Remember, in China, when you are one in a million, there are 1,300 other people just like you."
Thomas L. Friedman in the Sunday New York Times piece, It's a Flat World, After All, on how technology has reshaped the world.

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Comments (5)

Na, not flat but still roun... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Na, not flat but still round. Friedman's posit only works when you assume that "technology" is one fixed thing, shared or garned in equal measures by equal persons everywhere, and remains that way (as in, "flat world").

Technology is in flux. As is the learning curve. Which leads me back to the North American part that is the U.S., which is looking relatively flat this day unless it makes huge changes in it's/our educational process. 'Cause, all those 1,300 special folks from China, once in the U.S. -- and it sure looks like they are or will be soon -- makes for the same measure here, all together, flattened out into the 1,300 standard.

I sorta think it's a case of hills and valleys and oceans and plains, instead of the two polar opposites of flat and round.

Hmmm.Actually ther... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Actually there are quite a bit more than 1,300 other people. In China, as in Japan, they're having a serious amount of trouble over names. There's only a relatively few surnames and given names are often tied to lucky or auspicious things.

It's actually kinda funny.

~ed made a joke.~... (Below threshold)
-S-:

~ed made a joke.~

1,300??Jesus they all look ... (Below threshold)
pieter:

1,300??Jesus they all look the same to me...

Actually there are quite... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Actually there are quite a bit more than 1,300 other people.

I think Friedman just meant one in a million doesn't mean that much in a country of 1300 million (1.3 bil), but you're right about chinese names. 100 surnames cover 3/4 of the population. The most common surname in the world is Li (which is actually how several different chinese surnames are pronounced, to non-tonal language speaking ears), with over 100 million people in China sharing it. Someone named Li Zhi living in a large chinese city may share his name with hundreds or thousands of his neighbors. Lots of banking problems, wrongful arrests, even surgery botches result.




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