Flatter, Smaller, and One in Culture

Eventually, even if it takes a while, decisions that affect most or all of a population, will settle on what the majority prefers. When the majority of the Nephites were opposed to God, they chose to govern contrary to His commandments – selfishly engaging in war, and creating allies that promoted dishonesty (with the Gadianton robber’s, for example). When the majority of the city of Enoch favored God, they lived the law of consecration. “Flattening” the world, as described by Thomas L. Friedman in his book, “The World is Flat,” is preferable to the current majority of humankind because it seems to empower us to live more comfortably, to be able to get more accomplished in life, and to profit more than we could have in the past. The world is flattening because the majority of humankind wants it to.

Not only is the world flattening, but it’s getting smaller too. With Google Earth, I can visit Paris without leaving my bedroom. I can also drive around my own street, and see the apartment complex that I live in, using Google’s Street View. I don’t feel so far from my parents, who live 700 miles away, because I can hear their voices over the phone. I almost felt like I was able to visit my friend, in person, who lives 1,800 miles away, as I talked to her with my WebCam. Not all, but some of the same forces that are flattening the world, are making it smaller at the same time.

As the world is getting flatter and smaller, individuals are becoming more alike. Flattening applies to job opportunities and information availability, sure, but also to cultural diversity. British bands are finding fans in America, and American bands are becoming popular in Asia. Clothing fashions are being shared among nations. Core values, within a culture, will define the rate and direction that the culture allows itself to change. But in all, cultures are combining into one.

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