Globalization -- for many people, that word conjures up, at best, images of container ships moving manufactured goods from far-flung factories. In fact, since the Great Recession of 2008, the global flow of goods and services has flattened, and cross-border capital flows have declined sharply. But globalization overall isn't on the wane. Like so much in our world today, it has reinvented itself by going digital.
Last week there was another regulation concerning the Chinese Internet, forbidding foreign companies from posting content on Chinese social media. In short, Beijing is getting more and more controlling over anything and everything that is broadcasted in China online and offline, on the Internet and on TV.
The complex but irreversible integration of the European continent and the renaissance of the Chinese civilization arguably constitute the most significant factors of change of our time, the wise articulation of these two processes can only be mutually enriching and a source of growth and stability for our global village.
Why have ideas of contemporary thinkers like Thomas Friedman proved to be incomplete only ten years after they defined the brave new world we live in. Today's world changes at the speed of light and, unless these thinkers can ride on those light particles their insights will only paint a partial picture that lasts for no more than a minute.
At the core of the next generation of the Internet is the technology underlying the digital currency Bitcoin: the blockchain. At its most basic, the blockchain is a global spreadsheet, an incorruptible digital ledger of financial transactions that can be programmed to record virtually everything of value and importance to humankind.