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Thank You for Being Late

Video Length 4:19

Who Should Read It

Entrepreneurs, technologists, business experts, international relationship experts, and those who want to know why the world now is so different than the one in the 1990's.

Why Should We Read It

In a constantly changing world, the only way to beat the change is to adapt faster than the change. As Mr. Friedman puts it, "The only way to steer is to paddle as fast or faster than the rate of change in technology, globalization, and the environment."

What Will We Learn

We will learn why the world is accelerating, what drives these changes, what happens when the world is accelerating, and lastly, how we should adapt.

Book Summary

"If the world is a mega jigsaw puzzle, Mr. Friedman is the expert who can put the pieces together and show a holistic view."

Mr. Thomas Friedman is a well-known journalist and a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He extensively researches the Middle East, international affairs, globalization, and environmental issues. If the world is a mega jigsaw puzzle, Mr. Friedman is the expert who can put the pieces together and show a holistic view.

Thank You for Being Late started with an intriguing question: "What the hell happened in 2007?" In 2007, technologies and companies like IBM Watson, Kindle, Palantir, Android, Twitter, and Airbnb all emerged at once; this is no accident. Thank You for Being Late explains these technology accelerations and market shifts, and it details their impact on our environment and geopolitics.

"Human beings are now restricted, not by the circumstances of their geolocation, but by the speed of their internet access."

The rapid development of cloud technology has created exciting new internet and mobile services, and they have also transformed our own individual potential. Human beings are now restricted, not by the circumstances of their geolocation, but by the speed of their internet access. For example, internet education resources enable lifelong learning, which creates more opportunities to increase productivity and develop global talent. Despite political and geographical barriers, students in Arabian countries are taking courses from Israeli Arabian scientists (Coursera), and kids in India are learning from MIT professors (OpenCourseWare).

"The high unemployment rate consequently causes political instability."

On the other hand, some people are falling behind in this accelerating global market, and some of it is due to human activities that continue to increase global warming and stress Mother Nature. Many nations have started to experience unpredictable rainy seasons and droughts, which destroy local agricultural industries. When farmers lose their crops, they migrate away from their families and move to poorly structured urban centers that cannot provide steady jobs. The high unemployment rate consequently causes political instability. Cities like Baghdad, Aleppo, and Alexandria, once symbols of cultured human civilization and melting pots of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, are now occupied or under the threat of ISIS.

"Technology influences our behavior, but it is we who discipline that behavior and give our behavior meaning."

Nevertheless, Mr. Friedman, armed with substantial research and trust for human nature, gives an optimistic view. Technology influences our behavior, but it is we who discipline that behavior and give our behavior meaning. If we leverage our accelerating technology to increase access to education to every corner of the world, then more educated talent can participate in the global market, address global poverty, and help those who are falling behind. As Mr. Friedman says, we should build floors, not walls.

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