Good Luck Being Mediocre in 21st Century: Friedman
It's a world suited to the self-motivated, and others might be in trouble
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2013 1:46 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Thomas Friedman pronounced the world flat a decade ago in his best-seller, and he writes today in the New York Times that he's amazed that was before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, the cloud, and on and on. The world is a lot flatter and "hyperconnected" today, and the onus is even heavier on individuals to create their own success. In fact, it's "a 401(k) world" now—you're going to have to rely on your own "defined contributions" rather than coasting along on the system.

"If you are self-motivated, wow, this world is tailored for you," writes Friedman. "The boundaries are all gone. But if you’re not self-motivated, this world will be a challenge because the walls, ceilings and floors that protected people are also disappearing." This will have to be reflected in our education system. Degrees won't be enough—more workers will have to pass specific "certifications" to prove their worth, similar to the way lawyers must pass the bar. And slackers should note how much easier it is these days to measure who is contributing and who isn't. "A lot of this is scary," writes Friedman, but "it's not going away, so we better think how we help every citizen benefit from it." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
myflap.blow
May 2, 2013 7:05 AM CDT
I'm sorry, this is a world entirely suited to the well-connected. It's all about who you know, who you blow, or what vagina you fell out of. The end.
PadrePio
May 1, 2013 7:03 PM CDT
First this pig married rich, mega rich. Second if this is true this pig will die penniless and alone on the street.
gomer99
May 1, 2013 5:45 PM CDT
Thomas Friedman exhibits all the characteristics of the self-absorbed boomer/yuppie. Self starters and achievers ware the ONLY successful people throughout history. It is only since FDR that slackers have been "cared for". " It is up to you to succeed.......the universe doesn't give a shit about you".