A field guide to the twenty-first century, written by one of its most notable observers
We all feel it―something huge is going on. It is felt by you 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’s dizzying.
Friedman begins by taking us into his own manner 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 should realize the planet’s three greatest forces―Moore’s law (technology), the Marketplace (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)―are accelerating all at the same time. These accelerations are transforming five key lands: politics, the workplace, geopolitics, ethics, and community.
Why is this happening? The year 2007 was a major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, detectors, and networking, created a brand new technology platform.
Friedman calls this platform “the supernova”―for it is an amazing release of energy that is certainly reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It’s creating vast new opportunities for people and small groups to save the world―or to destroy it.
Thank You for Being Late is a work of current history that functions as a field manual for the way to compose and think about this era of accelerations. It’s also an argument for “being late”―for pausing to recognize this amazing historic epoch we’re passing through and to reflect on its possibilities and dangers.
With his hallmark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple anxieties 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 novel―and an essential guide to the current and the future.