HomeQuote Of The DayQuote Of The Day – Flat Earth Edition Quote Of The Day – Flat Earth Edition Kevin April 4, 2005 Quote Of The Day 5 Comments ”Remember, in China, when you are one in a million, there are 1,300 other people just like you.” Thomas L. Friedman in the Sunday New York Times piece, It’s a Flat World, After All, on how technology has reshaped the world. Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners And Now A Word Of Thanks Related Posts Quote of the Day Quote Of The Day – Like A Bear In The Woods Edition Quote Of The Day – Insincere Apology Hall Of Fame Edition About The Author Kevin Kevin founded Wizbang in 2003. He still contributes occasionally and handles all the technical and design work for the site. 5 Comments -S- April 4, 2005 Na, not flat but still round. Friedman’s posit only works when you assume that “technology” is one fixed thing, shared or garned in equal measures by equal persons everywhere, and remains that way (as in, “flat world”). Technology is in flux. As is the learning curve. Which leads me back to the North American part that is the U.S., which is looking relatively flat this day unless it makes huge changes in it’s/our educational process. ‘Cause, all those 1,300 special folks from China, once in the U.S. — and it sure looks like they are or will be soon — makes for the same measure here, all together, flattened out into the 1,300 standard. I sorta think it’s a case of hills and valleys and oceans and plains, instead of the two polar opposites of flat and round. ed April 4, 2005 Hmmm. Actually there are quite a bit more than 1,300 other people. In China, as in Japan, they’re having a serious amount of trouble over names. There’s only a relatively few surnames and given names are often tied to lucky or auspicious things. It’s actually kinda funny. -S- April 4, 2005 ~ed made a joke.~ pieter April 4, 2005 1,300??Jesus they all look the same to me… mantis April 4, 2005 Actually there are quite a bit more than 1,300 other people. I think Friedman just meant one in a million doesn’t mean that much in a country of 1300 million (1.3 bil), but you’re right about chinese names. 100 surnames cover 3/4 of the population. The most common surname in the world is Li (which is actually how several different chinese surnames are pronounced, to non-tonal language speaking ears), with over 100 million people in China sharing it. Someone named Li Zhi living in a large chinese city may share his name with hundreds or thousands of his neighbors. Lots of banking problems, wrongful arrests, even surgery botches result.