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

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

by Thomas L. Friedman

About this title: The new international bestseller from the Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The World is Flat - this is an essential and entertaining field guide to thriving in the twenty-first century. 'As a guide for perplexed Westerners, this book is very hard to beat ...Thank You for Being Late is a master class in explaining ...After your session with Dr. Friedman, 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' John Micklethwait, The New York Times Book Review 'The globe-trotting New York Times columnist's most famous book was about the world being flat. This one is all about the world being fast ...His main piece of advice for individuals, corporations, and countries is clear: Take a deep breath and adapt. This world isn't going to wait for you' Fortune We all sense it - something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your children. You can't miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are speeding up - and it is dizzying. In Thank You for Being Late, a work unlike any 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. Friedman's thesis is that 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 all accelerating at once, transforming the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics and community. An extraordinary release of energy 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 perhaps to destroy it. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to 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 reflecting on its possibilities and dangers. He shows us how we can anchor ourselves as individuals in the eye of this storm, and how communities can create a 'topsoil of trust' to do the same for their increasingly diverse and digital populations. Written with his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, and with unequalled access to many of those at the forefront of the changes he is describing all over the world, 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 reviews
first review
Customer Rating: 3 out of 5 3 out of 5
Mar 13, 2017
by Charles R. H

"BookReview8
by Charles R. Haller

Friedman, Thomas L., 2016, Thank You for Being Late. An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of
Accelerations: NY, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 486 p.

This lengthy book is actually a combination of two or more diverse subject matters written under an obscure title. It is the latest in a series of seven such tomes by Friedman. In order to understand the book, one has to know something about the author, who was born to Jewish migrants in Minnesota in 1953. After attending various universities in the U.S. and in England, the author went to work for United Press International in Beirut in 1979 having obtained some facility in the various Arabic languages. Friedman became a foreign correspondent for the NY Times in 1981. He stayed overseas for thirteen years and then returned to New York all the while writing books and editorial columns for the Times.

The most interesting part of Thank You is in parts II and III, pages 19 to 244, which summarize the tremendous technological advances in computer science [main frames] since 1957. These rapid advances have left the average older person far behind in modern technology. Friedman gives a relatively good outline of major innovations in computer enhancement from the time of desktops about 1963, transisters [chips], about 1965, and later laptops and cloud technology ["supernovas"; about 2002], of hand held iPhones [2007] and now GPS and 3-D printing. [To these we can add digital cameras, TVs, satellites, among others.] The author barely mentions cybersecurity, DNA, and software..

Friedman occasionally digresses into subjects outside the realm of this book. For instance he refers at various times to "global warming" [the current vogue among the public and politicians] and mixes it with climate cycles [climates have changed over the last 4,600 million years, at least five times violently as evidenced by the fossil record]. Many comments tend to be unrealistic and uneconomic, i.e., solar and wind power and biofuels.

The author repeats sections of his earlier books on recent industrialization ["globalization"]. In countries such as Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, this has been accompanied by rapidly expanding populations [not to mention uncontrolled cancer causing pollution]. Other countries cited include Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, and Uganda. These countries are providing waves of illegal immigrants to and undue pressure on the United States, Europe, and Israel.

On pages 328 to 335, Friedman list fifteen major governmental changes [regulations] that he would make to provide better government in Washington [good luck on that].

The remainder of the book, following pages 337 through 453, is a philosophical discussion of growing up in a small community near St. Paul, MN. Here Friedman devotes attention to the community's history and its widely diverse cultures of Swedes, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and more recently transplants of Somalis and Laotian Hmong groups who brought together into modern schools an overwhelming and counterproductive "forty-some languages.""

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