Posted by: Tony Carson | 11 November, 2009

Why isn’t Tom Friedman in Dickipedia?

NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman takes himself seriously so you don’t have to.

Anytime you reduce complex issues to catchy, if confusing slogans you risk ridicule. Do it often enough and you become ridiculous.

“I was in Bangalore, India, the Silicon Valley of India, when I realized that the world was flat.”

That’s how it started for me. He was leaning over Charlie Rose’s table with that look he gets when he knows that an entire encyclopaedia of thought is contained in just a few of his pithy words, and I remember thinking, “What a …” well, never mind what I was thinking.

But enjoy the thoughts of others.

Take Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, for instance:

Reading Friedman is fascinating–the same way that it’s fascinating to watch a zoo gorilla make mounds out of its own feces. The gorilla is a noble, intelligent animal that will demean itself in captivity. Friedman is a less noble animal of roughly the same intelligence, whose cage is the English language. It’s an amazing thing to behold.

Or the Friedman section of Brainy Quote where you’ll find:

McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15.

The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist.

There is no substitute for face-to-face reporting and research.

I basically did all the library research for this book on Google, and it not only saved me enormous amounts of time but actually gave me a much richer offering of research in a shorter time. has its own Friedman favourites:

“JFK wanted to put a man on the moon. My vision is to put every American man and woman on a campus.” — The World is Flat

“In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears-and that is our problem.” — The World is Flat

“In this era of mounting complexity with more people, systems and products entwined in a bewildering web of global networks, explaining is an enormously valuable skill.”

Globalization Quotes has a batch:

“This humiliation is the key. It has always been my view that terrorism is not spawned by the poverty of money. It is spawned by the poverty of dignity. Humiliation is the most underestimated force in international relations and in human relations.” — World is Flat

“Rule #7: Outsourcing isn’t just for Benedict Arnolds. It’s also for idealists.” — World is Flat

But that’s just a soupcon for Norwonk’s pillory of Friedman in the Uncrowned Prime Minister of Mixed Metaphors. It’s joys must be directly visited to be understood.

Curiously there is no mention of Thomas Friedman in Dickipedia.


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