Whether he’s in Boston, Bangalore or Beijing, Friedman asks brilliant questions of everyone he encounters. The lessons he distills from their responses brings a new perspective to the ways in which everyone from CEOs, to religious radicals, to entrepreneurs and garden-variety consumers, are all creating ripples in their own particular ways. Regardless of what your political beliefs may be, or where you may think you fit into the overall equation, Friedman shows us that we all have an undeniable stake in globalization. There’s simply no escaping it: the world is getting flatter every day.
Geographers on the whole have been particularly critical of Friedman's writings, views influenced by the large body of work within their field demonstrating the uneven nature of globalization, the strong influence place still has on people's lives, and the dependent relationships that have been established between the have and have-not regions in the current world-system. Geographer Harm de Blij detailed those arguments for the general public in Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America (2005) and The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization's Rough Landscape (2008).
Eleven years and countless columns later, the new book Thank You for Being Late takes that same structure and boldly complicates it. This book is built, again, around the idea that technological change is advancing beyond our ability to adapt. The culprits this time are three great "Accelerations": Moore's Law (microchip processing power doubles every 18 to 24 months), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature, which is his English-language term for the English-language term, "climate change and biodiversity loss."