Sunday, July 29, 2007

This world is wrinkled!

I have heard a lot recently about how this world is flat. The world is not flat. The world is wrinkled. I agree that we are in closer contact,that news travels more quickly, but is the world really a flat one-dimension? It is more 4-d than it has ever been, with all 4 dimensions hitting us from all sides simultaneously. Learners must be able to organize this plethora of information efficiently or be overwhelmed. We are not dealing with a flat world here, we are closer than ever before, but the wrinkles in time and space are not being ironed out. They are, rather, scrunching up as the fault lines of the digital information technology erupts exponentially across our radars.
So I heartily agree with concepts put forth by Thomas Friedman and most emphatically disagree with the metaphor. The word picture is all wrong. It assumes a level playing field, economically, politically, culturally. The field is full of ruts, and we all still must navigate through the fields. A more useful word picture is wrinkles.
It seems that many have adopted the popular metaphor as politically-correct buzzwords without critical analysis. Are we trying to sell books, advertise presentations, become well known? Or are we seeking to increase the collective knowledge? I am as guilty as anyone of ethnocentrism, but hopefully you all could read about my blunder. I used this example in my middle school classroom and I bet all those learners will remember my mistake!
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2 comments:

Mr Harrington said...

Lisa - You are a very intuative and perceptive, I like the metaphor 'Wrinkled' it fits well - better than being in a rut(lol). You only have to look at the lack at present of a strong online presence in Africa, India/Pakistan some parts of Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe to realise where the uneveness is :) Thanks for the timely reminder. Paul

Durff said...

Paul - You are too kind. Now the real work begins....how do we inside the echo chamber include those continents?