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Spring Edition
Volume 97, Number 4

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Gene Chase
When the world deflated

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes in his book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century that ten forces—such as just-in-time supply chains, open-source software, search engines, outsourcing to other countries, and insourcing to other companies—have flattened our world. Take Wal-Mart as an example of the resulting conflict. As a shopper, I want low prices. As a stockholder, I want a good return on my investments. As a worker, I want a decent wage and healthcare benefits. As a citizen, I neither want to subsidize the healthcare of Wal-Mart’s uninsured employees nor want to see my job go overseas. These conflicts, which Friedman probes, seem irresolvable.

 Such a world demands more education. Good for Messiah College! It demands more analytic skills. Good for the mathematical sciences! It demands more compassion for those marginalized by these changes. An opportunity for Christians! Most books that I read are about the good. This one is about goods, maybe even about the goodies, yet its lessons should be learned by all who care about the enduring good.

—Gene Chase is a professor of mathematics and computer science.

Gene Chase began teaching at Messiah College in 1973. He earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1979. He enjoys seeing alumni of his department succeed, and he is energized by teaching a wide range of courses including the philosophy of mathematics and database concepts. His faculty colleagues from across all disciplines are also an inspiration to him.

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