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Alright, you’ve got “Tea Partiers,” “Occupy Wall Streeters,” “Environmentalists,” “Joe the Plumbers,” and everyone in-between. What is going on right now? I’d like to try to explain in laymen terms. So if you want to drop some knowledge bombs in your next random conversation… I urge you to read on.

One of the best minds to look to when trying to figure out these crazy times is New York Times columnist and best-selling author, Thomas Friedman. He wrote “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century.” < SYNOPSIS: It’s all about globalization (national, cultural lines are becoming irrelevant in the 21st century, mainly because we are all so interconnected via technology, inter-webs, high-speed … everything.)

Anyways, he just did a fantastic column where he seemed to stray from allying with any particular movement and instead simply choose to play neutral. He describes two other brilliant guys’ takes on what is going on in the world. Of course they must have catchy names so we sound legitimate when dropping them at… wherever you drop these sorts of things. The two theories on what is going on are titled, “THE GREAT DISRUPTION” and “THE BIG SHIFT.” So here is my Spark Notes version for you busy kids that don’t care for fluff. (remember my interpretation)

THE GREAT DISRUPTION – Current system is too off balanced and breaking down. Examples: debt crisis, climate change, inequality… all products of this integrated system in which everything is overloaded and its “eating itself alive.” We let pollution go unchecked along with corporate cronyism and reckless speculation.

it’s a theory that is threat-based

THE BIG SHIFT – Right now we are in the beginning of a new era, where globalization and the Internet are fundamentally shifting everything in our culture and seriously affecting how we perform. New stress, new opportunities; yet the playing field is leveling. The monopoly on once hidden avenues of information is deteriorating. The global flow of ideas, resources, and people will win out or at least seriously compete with the corporations that once had all the power.

it’s a theory that is opportunity-based

So Friedman says both… yes the system is overloaded; things are going unchecked and a lot of people… A LOT of people are feeling cheated. Yet, in this new era where we have iPads, Broadband, and access to almost anything, the people may still prevail. It’s feasible that we may re-align with the world we find ourselves living in, without it collapsing.

I’m still deciding on which theory is more accurate. Either way I hope you enjoyed my spark notes version on the analysis of the 21st century transformation.