In the world of incredible acceleration of technology, information, globalization and climate change, Thomas Friedman’s latest book takes a momentary pause to reflect. Thus the title, Thank You For Being Late. In reality, Friedman details a world-changing so quickly that civilization itself is now in fact very late, falling far behind Moore’s Law where exponential information changes driven by technology literally double every two years! ” Every society and every community must compound the rate at which it re-imagines and adapts its social technologies, because our physical technologies will not be slowing down anytime soon, ” says Friedman. Moore’s Law will win out and societal changes will have no choice but to try to keep pace.
Friedman’s work is not a treatise only on technology. Quite to the contrary, it is a study of the current state of humankind. ” Warning ” writes Friedman. ” In the age of accelerations, if a society doesn’t build floors under people, many will reach for a wall-no matter how self-defeating that would be.”
Much of this work deals with the impact of climate change as Friedman documents the globe’s movement out of the Holocene period of a more perfect natural equilibrium into the present where the climate is on the edge of changing life as we have known it to exist on the planet. Friedman writes, ” I have said it before and I will keep saying it as long as I have the breath: We are the first generation for whom “later” will be the time when all of Mother Nature’s buffers, spare tires, tricks of the trade, and tools for adapting and bouncing back will be exhausted or breached. If we don’t act quickly to mitigate these trends we will be the first generation of humans for whom later will be too late.”
Just like his books The World is Flat, The Lexus And The Olive Tree, Hot Flat and Crowded and That Used To Be Us ( written with Michael Mandelbaum) Friedman’s work is readable, understandable and written for the layman even though the subject matter can become highly technical. That is very much his literary genius. He educates. Search gordonsgoodreads for overviews of all of Friedman’s titles.
In today’s climate both political and technical, Thank You For Being Late could not be more timely. Become informed, painlessly!