The Local-Global Flip, or, "The Lanier Effect" (article w/ accompanying video)

If you want to, you can talk about the intelligence agencies as being the earlier pioneers, perhaps, but in a way Wal-Mart is the most impressive one, totally transformed the world. I'm not going to condemn them, because overall they brought so much good in their wake that it would be hard to condemn them. Consider that before Wal-Mart one of the greatest anxieties many of us had was the rise of China. What would that be like? Wal-Mart said, "Oh, the rise of China is going to be as a peaceful manufacturing partner." And China started to get rich, got happy, got nicer, and it just turned the rise of China into something that was so much better than anyone had foreseen, and Wal-Mart played a huge role in that. Without information systems there's no way that whole thing could have been coordinated to happen so quickly. That's an extraordinary good for everybody in the loop. You can't find a villain here and say, "This is the horrible thing", because a lot of these are complex and nuanced large-scale phenomena.

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