Thank you for being late

Thomas L. Friedman

Why I looked at this book

I heard the author speak at this talk, and I thought it would be interesting to find out more about what he had said, so I decided to read the book. In addition, the introduction of more and more technology into our lives was supposed to free us for the age of leisure that Keynes predicted in 1930. Instead we find we have to struggle to keep up with the latest technology, since if we fail to do so we'll find it hard to be part of the modern economy. Why should this be so?

First impressions

Early on in the book Friedman introduces the idea of the economy as the Machine. The question is then 'how do you think it works', since that's what you need to know to be able to get it to move in the right direction. But for a columnist like Friedman you also need to know how others think that it works, to understand why they are pushing the way they do.

Then there's the title of the book, which Friedman said when someone he was meeting was delayed, as it gave him a bit of free time to think about things. But as I see it you have to be careful here - what if keeping you waiting is someone's way of saying they have higher status than you. To me this ties in with the idea that automation, which should give us time for leisure, tends rather to take control of our time. I hope that Friedman will discuss such ideas later in the book. PAtience ~be wary of implications of control here ~ who is making you wait.
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In 1930, John Maynard Keynes wrote Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, predicting an age of leisure in a couple of generations. Why aren't we there yet? That's just one of the questions asked in
The People's Economics