So programmers based in Russia, Argentina, Pakistan, and America log into a forum…

It’s not the start of a bad joke, I promise. It’s just the kind of thing that happens now. In this case, the four programmers, all located in different quadrants of the Earth, got together because they all had a common code problem that none of them had figured out on their own how to solve. For three days, they swapped ideas, source code, jokes, etc. until eventually they were able to find a clean, efficient, elegant solution to their shared problem.

None of them were working on the same project. None of them had ever met before, nor probably ever will. And yet they were all able to get together and work together towards the resolution of a common problem, in nearly real time.

Do these globalization effects show up in GDP figures? In aggregate, maybe, but it’s far more likely that such meetings of mind do nothing but marginally improve the lives of the four individuals involved.

And really, that’s more than enough.