Thursday, June 5, 2008

Design 3.0 in Globalization 3.0

I'm currently reading Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" and am a little blown away at some of his ideas and findings so far. It's unnerving at times, as he put forth case after cases of what are the qualifying situations that seems to support his theory. In fact, it's not far fetch to say that this could be very well be a continuation of a book that I read as a text, i.e. "Blown to Bits" by Evans and Wurster while I was taking my Masters programme way back in 2001.

One idea that perhaps catches my attention was in the idea that globalization in itself is actually happening at stages over the years! Beginning from Man's early exploits during the British and Dutch colonial heydays of the 18th and 19th century, the idea was that this quest for land masses beyond the immediate regions, done by nations with the necessary wherewithal, is itself Globalization 1.0

What follows with these conquests in many parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, are further 'exploitation' by the companies that are headquartered in these countries of origin, where multi-national companies are moving en masse to these resource-rich countries to further improve their profit margins and source out new markets for their various goods and services. This is Globalization 2.0

But interestingly Friedman (I hope he doesn't 'fry' too much, because the translated version of the word 'fry in Malay, i.e. GORENG, is a slang for talking shit! :) ), also brought forth the idea that there IS a third wave of globalization that is currently happening. Instead of nations and corporate organizations, what we are seeing now is the pervasive promulgation of individual content on a global scale, albeit in the online digital world of the NET, in what one would term as 'user-defined content'. Interestingly enough, this has a much more significant impact so far, as it does not only bring forth limitless possibilities in terms of its potential, but surprisingly, the very significant ripples that it creates are not necessarily being decided upon by financial or capitalist interests!

And hence as I was reading it, it comes to my mind, analogically speaking, whether there is such a thing as a Design 3.0, in a context similar to Globalization 3.0. I think there is indeed. Perhaps I should deal with it in my next post then!

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