mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The world is flat...

I'm taking an "International MIS" class this semester in my MBA program. This satisfies my international requirement and deals with stuff that's kind of interesting. One of the books we are reading is Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, in which he talks about how technology is making the world "flatter".

I don't always agree with Friedman, but he's got a point - technology has made it so people don't even realize the distance between people anymore. For example, cell phones make so making a long-distance call doesn't really matter anymore.

What brings this to mind? I work at a college helpdesk in Baltimore, MD, and one of the things we do is deal with telephone issues. Our phones are set to require a long-distance passcode to charge you for long distance. Back when I was a freshman (in 1998) everyone had one and ran up big phone bills. Now, most people don't even bother signing up because they all use cell phones with unlimited long distance.

I had a student call last week who said she couldn't make a call off-campus from her phone. I asked her if she had a phone pin # and she said "huh?". I then asked her if it was a long distance call.

Her response: Is New York long distance?

Yes. NY is a long-distance call from Maryland. But thanks to cell phones making the US flatter, we now have a generation that doesn't realize it...


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