Tom Friedman is a renowned journalist and author who writes this book to build a better understanding of what is going on in the world. He shares his optimistic conclusions with his readers.
The speed and dislocation of life and established values as we know them has been overwhelming for most people. Friedman suggests that there is a need to research this matter carefully. He aims to put together some kind of field-guide for the 21st century.
His observations point to three major movements converging around us. They are the spectacular growth and impact of technology on our lives, the global force of markets, and the impact of mother nature. This includes climate change and biodiversity.
The overpowering effects of these forces are changing our lives dramatically. They are changing our workplaces, our politics, how we conduct ourselves in our communities. This in turn affects how we regulate our moral compass.
Tracing back to where some of these changes originated, he identifies several signal years that were portents of the times to come. Years like 2007 held the seeds of the changes we now see in society. The Apple iPhone was released that year. In addition, major developments in silicon chips, software, storage and networking accelerated much of our lives beyond recognition.
Why you should read it.
Friedman’s experience of a time when a friend with whom he was due to meet arrived late for the meeting is the inspiration for the title of the book. Instead of becoming impatient and irritated Friedman used the time to do some thinking and personal reflection. The key hemes of his book point to how fast everything is happening in these frenetic times, meanwhile Friedman urges his readers to slow down. We should relish any of the time we get for reflection and mindfulness.
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