The world sure does seem flat. The Olympics, international travel, and the global capitalism make the world seem like one interconnected place. However, the village of Fan Shen and eight hundred fifty million or so Chinese are a world apart from People's Republic of China's globalization. Elsewhere in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, remote Pygmies live their short lives in the same village where they were born. Meanwhile in Oaxaca, a Guatemalan illegal immigrant seeking a better life is brutally beaten by Mexican border.
Harm de Blij starts off Power of Place saying the world is flat, if one is a global traveller and views the Earth from their seat on a jet plane. However, most people live, work, and die near at one place, the locals, while the third group, mobiles, seek somesort of better life though the world has barriers which interfere with their journey.
The point of Power of Place is that the place where one is born greatly influences one's life. Place has huge sway over culture, language, religion, risks to disasters, and odds of diseases that all impact one's life.
When it comes to globalization de Blij sees push back on both sides. Some in the third world resent outsiders trying to reform their system whether the system works or not. Meanwhile the first world hates competition of lesser countries industries while mobiles seek to move into the first world while keeping elements of their old culture.