Central Virginia Regional Library

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

Posted by rerdman on

Friedman, Thomas L.,

Format: Book

In Thank You for Being Late, his most ambitious work to date, Thomas L. Friedman shows that we have entered an age of dizzying acceleration–and explains how to live in it. Due to an exponential increase in computing power, climbers atop Mount Everest enjoy excellent cell phone service, and self-driving cars are taking to the roads. A parallel explosion of economic interdependency has created new riches as well as spiraling debt burdens. Meanwhile, Mother Nature is also seeing dramatic change as carbon levels rise and species go extinct, with compounding results.

How do these changes interact, and how can we cope with them? To get a better purchase on the present, Friedman returns to his Minnesota childhood and sketches a world where politics worked and joining the middle class was an achievable goal. Today, by contrast, it is easier than ever to be a maker (try 3D printing) or a breaker (the Islamic State excels at using Twitter), but harder than ever to be a leader or merely “average.” He concludes that nations and individuals must learn to be fast (innovative and quick to adapt), fair (prepared to help the casualties of change), and slow (adept at shutting out the noise and accessing their deepest values). With vision, authority, and wit, Friedman has established a blueprint for how to think about our times.

 

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