Thomas Friedman discovers the Great Acceleration

Thomas Friedman is the dean of the New York Times comment pages and multi-million-selling author of The World is Flat - and his new book, Thank You For Being Late, takes as its topic the way in which the world is getting faster.

I've known about Friedman's interest in this topic since roughly the point I was finishing up the first draft of The Great Acceleration (though I always expected him to call it The World is Fast). But it's still strange to have someone else's work overlap with your own - to see what ideas you have in common and where you diverge.

I've reviewed the Friedman book for the Times Literary Supplement this week - if you've read both, I'd be fascinated to know what you think.

And just a reminder to anyone still deciding on their Christmas shopping - The Great Acceleration makes a wonderful present for anyone interested in how the world is changing (especially if they're too busy to shop for themselves). Buy it here.

Announcement - new job at CapX

Apologies for the radio silence on this blog for the past few months - I've been busy working out the shape of my next book and, equally importantly, preparing to take up a new job. I'm delighted to say that I've been appointed as Editor of CapX, whose self-appointed mission is to aggregate (and commission) the very best thinking and writing on economics and politics. If you've got any ideas, please get in touch - or sign up for the daily email briefing, featuring a weekly column from me.

CapX will now become the home for most of my writing - though I'll still be popping up elsewhere from time to time. In the meantime, there's the paperback edition of 'The Great Acceleration' to prepare - look for more news on that in the coming months...


The trouble with WEIRD science

We think we know about humanity's basic drives and instincts. But is it possible that we're fooling ourselves? Recently, scientists have become aware of how many key findings - thought to baked into every one of us by evolution - actually apply only to certain cultures. In particular, the culture from which way too high a proportion of research subjects is drawn: American college students.

In my debut piece for Aeon magazine, I explore the problem of WEIRD science - the fact that it's concentrated among Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic countries - and how we can go about fixing it. Do take a look.