Living in History: What are you most aware of?

The reviews were too compelling for me to keep on resisting it, and so I finally began listening to The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. I had picked up the book several times while browsing in bookstores, but I hadn’t bought it because it was never able to grab me as I skimmed through it. What finally got me?

a) Credit Steve Sherlock, who was inspired enough to start a whole new blog after he finished his reading; he calls it Tertiary Education, where “Commencement begins every day”—I really like that thought,

b) Credit John Richardson and his MBA on the Run program, even though I’m one of the last hold-outs to participate with a CD player instead of an iPod,

c) My “on the run” has been my every June and July training for the Volcano Run, and

d) The CD set for The World is Flat on audio was on sale at 50% off ” and yes, I do realize that with the fifteen CDs it takes to cover the book, that’s still more expensive than the book would have been.

A sidebar on the audio version: I must say that Oliver Wyman is fabulous in his reading—this is one book which is not read by the author—for he makes what could be rather dry reading material so much more fascinating. What a voice; I could listen to him all day long. Photo Credit.

I’m only up to disc number five, which covers flattener #9 in the book, In-forming, page 185 or so” Yes, the must-annotate addict in me ended up buying the book too, where all authors both love and hate having their books, Costco.

Though I hate to admit it, my first impression has been, what in the world was I doing when all this was happening? Why didn’t I notice it, and pay more attention? If hindsight is 20-20, I’ve been legally blind.

So the world is flatter”

“Just because your voice reaches halfway
around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the
end of the bar.”

R. Murrow

The thing is, getting “corrective lenses” is harder and harder to do these days. We are so bombarded with news and information, and all while trying to make meaning in our own circles of influence. To use the old, but very accurate saying, it is very hard to see the forest because of all the trees.

If you were to pick them out right now, what would you say we are living in the middle of, happily cruising downstream with everyone else, that a half century from now will be chronicled as a defining moment in history?

Certainly blogging, and the emergence of citizen publishers will be mentioned, though I highly suspect that we who blog really bug those who don’t when we insist on talking about it. I just had a conversation with a hopeful author-to-be about her idea for a book she wants to write, and her eyes immediately started to glaze over when I suggested she consider blogging to get some writer’s chops first, as she’s never written much before, much less published anything. Have a few conversations like that, and you make a mental block to just do it versus talk about it.

So what do you think? Besides blogging, and besides what Friedman writes about, and Wyman talks about so compellingly in The World is Flat (if you’ve read or listened to it) what is the history in the making we are living our lives with right here, right now?

Related visits to the archives:
7 More Ways to get the most from Books.

My Aha! Moment in Auditory Learning.


  1. says

    Rosa, I knew you would get into this book.
    There is so much to talk about on this that there is not enough room in a single comment, hence one of the key reasons why I started a whole new blog.
    Time is so precious and life so busy it is hard to take the time to stop and smell the roses, never mind to really see the forest for trees (to mix up a couple of good metaphors)…
    Enjoy the remainder of the book. I expect that we will have plenty more to talk about (as if we did not have enough already) when you finish.

  2. says

    Hi Rosa,
    What a coincidence. I am also just now reading the World Is Flat – about 3/4 through.
    To your question, I think “green” is also history in the making. My friends who know about such things tell me that for many natural resources, e.g. metals, it is becoming more economical to recycle than to mine for raw materials. And we all see the increases in gasoline and energy prices, which is certain to change many aspects of our daily lives.
    Could it be that the world will become Lean, Green, and Flat?

  3. says

    I’ll be taking you up on your offer Steve, and jump into your comments much more on Tertiary Education! The book is rich with talk-story fodder, and my family has already threatened to take the rest of the CDs away from me because for them “it’s summer! Can’t you give this stuff a rest?!?”
    Blaine, I do think you are right, and that our “greening” is an exceptionally good thing. Environmental protection and conservation has been talked about for a very long time, but current factors (the Triple Convergence? ;-) are forcing it to be part of our mainstream consciousness. The *vegetarians and activists* who have been seen as extremists crying wolf up to now are not so lonely as they once were.
    In Hawaii we say Mālama the ‘Ä€ina (stewardship and care of the land) but the short and sweet “Green” does make it much more pervasive and visual.
    Two posts older than this one I mentioned the Discovery Channel special on global warming, and one of the most interesting parts of it for me was about new building construction. They spoke of how greener applications incorporated into the design have indeed made it much more economical both in construction AND in long term maintenance. These new buildings are also architecturally stunning: we’ve gone far, far beyond green construction meaning adding more plants and a solar panel or two.