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Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

by Thomas L. Friedman

4 Reviews

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
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Overview

Overview

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9780374273538
9780374273538
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
11/22/2016
Pages:
496
496
Sales rank:
9,252
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.60(d)
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About the Author

About the Author

Thomas L. Friedman is a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times and the author of several bestselling books, including The World Is Flat.

Hometown:

Washington, D.C. area

Date of Birth:

July 20, 1953

Place of Birth:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Education:

B.A. in Mediterranean Studies, Brandeis University, 1975; M.A. in Modern Middle East Studies, Oxford University, 1978
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part I Reflecting

1 Thank You for Being Late 13

Part II Accelerating

2 What the Hell Happened in 2007? 39

3 Moore's Law 71

4 The Supernova 159

5 The Market 219

6 Mother Nature 287

Part III Innovating

7 Just Too Damned Fast 339

8 Turning AI into IA 367

9 Control vs. Kaos 438

10 Mother Nature as Political Mentor 534

11 Is God in Cyberspace? 604

12 Always Looking for Minnesota 641

13 You Can Go Home Again (and You Should!) 732

Part IV Anchoring

14 From Minnesota to the World and Back 795

Acknowledgments 807

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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

While other journalists dream of being investigative reporters or news breakers, Thomas L. Friedman is a self-confessed "explanatory journalist"—whose goal is to be a "translator from English to English." And he is extremely good at it&#8230Thank You for Being Late is a master class in explaining. It canters along at a pace that is quick enough to permit learning without getting bogged down…criticizing Friedman for humanizing and boiling down big topics is like complaining that Mick Jagger used sex to sell songs: It is what he does well. There is also a value in bringing things together—in putting foreign policy beside climate change. And don't be fooled by the catchy slogans…As usual with Friedman, it is all backed up by pages of serious reporting from around the world…you don't finish this book thinking everything is going to be O.K. for the unhappy West…But…you have a much better idea of the forces that are upending your world, how they work together—and what people, companies and governments can do to prosper. You do have a coherent narrative—an honest, cohesive explanation for why the world is the way it is, without miracle cures or scapegoats.

The New York Times Book Review - John Micklethwait
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Customer Reviews (4)
Excellent
Worth a second read
- Anonymous
August 5, 2017
This a great book. Very interesting commentary on the acceleratio ...
This a great book. Very interesting commentary on the acceleration of technology and climate change. Mr. Freidman's expertise in interviewing current and relevant subject experts shines through. This book changed some of my perceptions about what the future may hold.
- Minnesota_Nate
March 16, 2017
Thought provoking
Reports on the changing landscape and how to keep up with the new world
- Anonymous
March 6, 2017
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    Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations
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