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30+ quotes from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

Quotes from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

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“The ideal country in a flat world is the one with no natural resources, because countries with no natural resources tend to dig inside themselves. They try to tap the energy, entrepreneurship, creativity, and intelligence of their own people-men and women-rather than drill an oil well.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears-and that is our problem.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“It has always been my view that terrorism is not spawned by the poverty of money; it is spawned by the poverty of dignity. Humiliation is the most underestimated force in international relations and in human relations. It is when people or nations are humiliated that they really lash out and engage in extreme violence.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“One of the newest figures to emerge on the world stage in recent years is the social entrepreneur. This is usually someone who burns with desire to make a positive social impact on the world, but believes that the best way of doing it is, as the saying goes, not by giving poor people a fish and feeding them for a day, but by teaching them to fish, in hopes of feeding them for a lifetime. I have come to know several social entrepreneurs in recent years, and most combine a business school brain with a social worker's heart. The triple convergence and the flattening of the world have been a godsend for them. Those who get it and are adapting to it have begun launching some very innovative projects.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“I once heard Jerry Yang, the cofounder of Yahoo!, quote a senior Chinese government official as saying, "Where people have hope, you have a middle class." I think this is a very useful insight. The existence of large, stable middle classes around the world is crucial to geopolitical stability, but middle class is a state of mind, not a state of income. That's why a majority of Americans always describe themselves as "middle class," even though by income statistics some of them wouldn't be considered as such. "Middle class" is another way of describing people who believe that they have a pathway out of poverty or lower-income status toward a higher standard of living and a better future for their kids.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Almost all the students who make it to Caltech, one of the best scientific universities in the world, come from public schools. So it can be done.

― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Communism was a great system for making people equally poor - in fact, there was no better system in the world for that than communism. Capitalism made people unequally rich.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“No matter what your profession – doctor, lawyer, architect, accountant – if you are an American, you better be good at the touchy-feely service stuff, because anything that can be digitized can be outsourced to either the smartest or the cheapest producer.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Some would ask what country am I from? We ara supposed to tell the truth, [so] we tell them India. Some thought it was Indiana, not India! Some did not know where India is. I said the country next to Pakistan.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“When Muslim radicals and fundamentalists look at the West, they see only the openness that makes us, in their eyes, decadent and promiscuous. They see only the openness that has produced Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. They do not see, and do not want to see, the openness - the freedom of thought and inquiry - that has made us powerful, the openness that has produced Bill Gates and Sally Ride. They deliberately define it all as decadence. Because if openness, women's empowerment, and freedom of thought and inquiry are the real sources of the West's economic strength, then the Arab-Muslim world would have to change. And the fundamentalists and extremists do not want to change.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“When you study history and look at every civilization that has grown up and died off, they all leave one remnant: a major sports colosseum at the heart of their capital. Our fate can be different; but only if we start doing things differently.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“The fact is, parents and schools and cultures can and do shape people. The most important influence in my life, outside of my family, was my high school journalism teacher, Hattie M. Steinberg. She pounded the fundamentals of journalism into her students -- not simply how to write a lead or accurately transcribe a quote but, more important, how to comport yourself in a professional way. She was nearing sixty at the time I had her as my teacher and high school newspaper adviser in the late 1960s. She was the polar opposite of "cool," but we hung around her classroom like it was the malt shop and she was Wolfman Jack. None of us could have articulated it then, but it was because we enjoyed being harangued by her, disciplined by her, and taught by her. She was a woman of clarity and principles in an age of uncertainty. I sit up straight just thinking about her!”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“No one has expressed what is needed better than Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the London-based al-Arabiya news channel. One of the best-known and most respected Arab journalists working today, he wrote the following, in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (September 6, 2004), after a series of violent incidents involving Muslim extremist groups from Chechnya to Saudi Arabia to Iraq: "Self-cure starts with self-realization and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture... The mosque used to be a haven, and the voice of religion used to be that of peace and reconciliation. Religious sermons were warm behests for a moral order and an ethical life. Then came the neo-Muslims. An innocent and benevolent religion, whose verses prohibit the felling of trees in the absence of urgent necessity, that calls murder the most heinous of crimes, that says explicitly that if you kill one person you have killed humanity as a whole, has been turned into a global message of hate and a universal war cry... We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women. We cannot redeem our extremist youth, who commit all these heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to reinvent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people's sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleges.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Goods are traded, but services are consumed and produced in the same place. And you cannot export a haircut. But we are coming close to exporting a haircut, the appointment part. What kind of haircut do you want? Which barber do you want? All those things can and will be done by a call center far away.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, ‘Tom, finish your dinner—people in China and India are starving.’ My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework—people in China and India are starving for your jobs.” And in a flat world, they can have them, because in a flat world there is no such thing as an American job. There is just a job, and in more cases than ever before it will go to the best, smartest, most productive, or cheapest worker—wherever he or she resides.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“To learn how to learn, you have to love learning—or you have to at least enjoy it—because so much learning is about being motivated to teach yourself.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Culture is nested in context, not genes.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“today’s workers need to approach the workplace much like athletes preparing for the Olympics, with one difference. “They have to prepare like someone who is training for the Olympics but doesn’t know what sport they are going to enter,”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“The job of the politician in America, whether at the local, state, or national level, should be, in good part, to help educate and explain to people what world they are living in and what they need to do if they want to thrive within it.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“But there is another statistic, much harder to measure, that I think is even more important and revealing: Does your society have more memories than dreams or more dreams than memories?”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Nobody works harder at learning than a curious kid.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“A Mexican newspaper recently ran a story about how the Converse shoe company was making tennis shoes in China using Mexican glue. “The whole article was about why are we giving them our glue,” said Zedillo, “when the right attitude would be, How much more glue can we sell them? We still need to break some mental barriers.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“What makes America unique is not that it built MIT, or that its grads are generating economic growth and innovation, but that every state in the country has universities trying to do the same. “America has 4,000 colleges and universities,” said Allan E. Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education. “The rest of the world combined has 7,768 institutions of higher education.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“A Nobel Prize winner was asked how he became a scientist. He said that every day after school, his mother would ask him not what he learned but whether he asked a good question today. That, he said, was how he became a scientist.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“We have grown addicted to our high salaries, and now we are really going to have to earn them,” the CEO said.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“On any given day, according to UPS, 2 percent of the world’s GDP can be found in UPS delivery trucks or package cars.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“Virulence is the sound of a self-selecting community talking to itself and positively reinforcing itself with no obligation to answer to anyone or look anyone in the eye.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“People will change their habits quickly IF they have a strong reason for doing so.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


“No low-trust society will ever produce sustained innovation.”
― quote from The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


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