Cover image for
Title:
Thank you for being late : an optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations / Thomas L. Friedman.
Author:
Friedman, Thomas L., author.
Published:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

©2016
Edition:
First edition.
Description:
486 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"We all sense it--something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once--and it is dizzying. In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike anything he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book; how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your kids need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman's original analysis. Friedman begins by taking us into his own way of looking at the world--how he writes a column. After a quick tutorial, he proceeds to write what could only be called a giant column about the twenty-first century. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planets three largest forces--Moore's law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)--are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. Why is this happening? As Friedman shows, the exponential increase in computing power defined by Moore's law has a lot to do with it. The year 2007 was a major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform. Friedman calls this platform "the supernova"--for it is an extraordinary release of energy that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world--or to destroy it. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to write and think about this era of accelerations. It's also an argument for "being late"--for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers. To amplify this point, Friedman revisits his Minnesota hometown in his moving concluding chapters; there, he explores how communities can create a "topsoil of trust" to anchor their increasingly diverse and digital populations. With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations--if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community Thank You for Being Late is Friedman's most ambitious book--and an essential guide to the present and the future."--Dust jacket.

Friedman discusses how the key to understanding the 21st century is understanding that the planet's three largest forces -- Moore's law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loos) -- are accelerating all at once. And these accelerations are transforming the five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. Friedman posits that we should purposely "be late" -- we should pause to appreciate the amazing historical epoch we're passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers.--
Notes:
Includes index.
ISBN:
0374273537 (hardcover)

9780374273538 (hardcover)

9780374715144 (ebook)

9780374900434 (c-format : Open Market edition)

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

A field guide to the twenty-first century, written by one of its most celebrated observers

We all sense it--something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once--and it is dizzying.
In Thank You for Being Late , a work unlike anything he has attempted before, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book: how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your kids need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman's original analysis.
Friedman begins by taking us into his own way of looking at the world--how he writes a column. After a quick tutorial, he proceeds to write what could only be called a giant column about the twenty-first century. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet's three largest forces--Moore's law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)--are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community.
Why is this happening? As Friedman shows, the exponential increase in computing power defined by Moore's law has a lot to do with it. The year 2007 was a major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform. Friedman calls this platform "the supernova"--for it is an extraordinary release of energy that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is creating vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world--or to destroy it.
Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to write and think about this era of accelerations. It's also an argument for "being late"--for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we're passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers. To amplify this point, Friedman revisits his Minnesota hometown in his moving concluding chapters; there, he explores how communities can create a "topsoil of trust" to anchor their increasingly diverse and digital populations.
With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations--if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is Friedman's most ambitious book--and an essential guide to the present and the future.


Author Notes

Journalist Thomas L. Friedman was born in 1953 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Friedman graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Mediterranean Studies and earned a graduate degree from Oxford in Modern Middle East Studies. His reporting on the war in Lebanon won the George Polk Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He won a second Pulitzer for his work in Israel. Friedman began his career as a correspondent for United Press International and later served as bureau chief for the New York Times in Beirut and Jerusalem. He moved to the op-ed page of The New York Times as a foreign affairs columnist. In 2002, Friedman won his third Pulitzer Prize, this time for Commentary.

Friedman wrote about his experiences as a Jewish-American reporter in the Middle East in From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won the National Book Award in 1989. The bestselling Lexus and the Olive Tree won the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy. He wrote Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 and The World Is Flat, which received the first Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. His other works include Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0, and That Used to Be Us which made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012. His title, Thank You for Being Late, made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Friedman (coauthor of That Used to Be Us), a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his work as a reporter with the New York Times, engages in an intelligent but overlong discussion of the faster paces of change in technology, globalization, and climate around the world. His core argument is that "simultaneous accelerations in the Market, Mother Nature and Moore's law" (the principle that the power of microchips doubles every two years) constitute an "Age of Accelerations," in which people who feel "fearful or unmoored" must "pause and reflect" rather than panic. Friedman opens with slow-paced, wordy, and at times highly technical discussions of each of his accelerations, with examples that include solar-powered waste compactors, pedometer-wearing cows, the Watson computer's wrong answer on Jeopardy!, and geopolitics. He then offers personal and policy recommendations for coping with accelerations, such as self-motivation, a single-payer health care system, lifelong learning, and encouraging more people to follow the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, Friedman's intriguing facts and ideas are all but buried under too many autobiographical anecdotes and lengthy recollections about the circumstances of interviews he conducted and research he completed, giving readers the recipe and history of all the ingredients along with the meal. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

The celebratednbsp;New York Timesnbsp;columnist diagnoses this unprecedented historical moment and suggests strategies for resilience and propulsion that will help us adapt.Are things just getting too damned fast? Friedman (Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolutionand How It Can Renew America, 2008, etc.) cites 2007 as the year we reached a technological inflection point. Combined with increasingly fast-paced globalization (financial goods and services, information, ideas, innovation) and the subsequent speedy shocks to our planets natural system (climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, geochemical flows), weve entered an age of accelerations that promises to transform almost every aspect of modern life. The three-time Pulitzer winner puts his familiar methodologyextensive travel, thorough reporting, interviews with the high-placed movers and shakers, conversations with the lowly moved and shakento especially good use here, beginning with a wonderfully Friedman-esque encounter with a parking attendant during which he explains the philosophy and technique underlying his columns and books. The author closes with a return to his Minnesota hometown to reconnect with and explore some effective habits of democratic citizenship. In between, he discusses topics as varied as how garbage cans got smart, how the exponential growth in computational power has resulted in a supernova of creative energy, how the computer Watson wonnbsp;Jeopardy, and how, without owning a single property, Airbnb rents out more rooms than all the major hotel chains combined. To meet these and other dizzying accelerations, Friedman advises developing a dynamic stability, and he prescribes nothing less than a redesign of our workplaces, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and communities. Drawing lessons from Mother Nature about adaptability, sustainability, and interdependence, he never underestimates the challenges ahead. However, hes optimistic about our chances as he seeks out these strategies in action, ranging from how ATT trains its workers to how Tunisia survived the Arab Spring to how chickens can alleviate African poverty. Required reading for a generation thats going to be asked to dance in a hurricane. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Choice Review

This wonderful book is a balance of astute perception and creative introspection, the hallmark of the author's biweekly columns in the New York Times and his previous six books. He is a master of weaving the dynamics of technology, economics and finance, politics, and culture into a fabric that makes intuitive sense even for those who are more narrow and specialized, with bones to pick here and there. The narrative starts with a blogging Ethiopian parking attendant in Bethesda, MD, and ends with the author's roots in a Minnesota suburb, both reflected in the remarkable quality of Friedman's writing and the shaping of his opinions in the media. In-between stands the "Machine" (not Friedman's word), an unfixed but compelling model of how things work. Somehow it conjures up a Rube Goldberg-style contraption of gears and belts and levers and whistles but with cause-and-effect relationships that continually change. The key forces are globalization, technological change, and climate change. Friedman explores their interaction and its acceleration, which affects individuals and groups, cultures, and values. Acceleration of the pace of change turns out to be a key issue that doesn't necessarily bode well for the Machine, so there are good reasons for taking breathers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. --Ingo Walter, New York University