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tv   Thomas Friedman Speaks at New York Times Summit  CSPAN  December 4, 2016 1:35am-2:16am EST

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it is a balancing act here but i think the bounce has shifted, in my mind at least. and i think we should go to the popular vote. i think it would stimulate public participation in the democratic process like nothing else we could possibly do. and in the internet age, having people more involved, we've got to get back to harvesting the wisdom of crowds in the united states. we have to get back to the kind of conversation of democracy that allows good ideas to rise to the surface. we lost that in the television age, even though the internet age is filled with all this junk . it still brings the possibility and real hope of reestablishing the forces of democracy. our democracy has been hacked now. it is pathetic how our system is not working today. and i think that moving to a popular vote for president would
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be one of the initiatives, getting money about -- getting money out of the process is a difficult challenge. if we can do three or four things to bring our democracy back to life and help us make good decisions again. >> how can i turn you down? >> vice president, thank you for your time. i think saving our planet is priority 1, 2 and three. and it's going to define nations defense policies, form policies, and economic policies. you speak without notes. you speak with passion. and you show no resentment what this country did to you. it's time for you to run for the office again. why wouldn't you run for the country if you want to save the planet? >> first of all, thank you for the sentiment.
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and even though i've said this before, forgive me for repeating it. i am a recovering politician now. and the longer i go without a relapse, the less likely one becomes. so i would say it is not likely. but i appreciate the sentiment very much, truly. thank you. >> that was a great question to end on. thank you all. [applause] thomasas freedom men -- friedman talks about advances in technology and how society can a depth to such changes. it is the subject of his new late."hank you for being this is 40 minutes.
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[applause] tom: thank you. great to be here this morning. what a treat. i'm going to try to in 20 minutes summarize the book you have next to you. my latest book came out called "thank you for being late." and optimist guide to thriving in the age of acceleration. first question people have is where from the title, thank you for being late? that comes from meeting people asdy this morning in washington, d.c., over the years for breakfast. i don't like to waste breakfast eating alone when i can learn from someone. once in a while someone will show up, tom, i'm soarry, weather, traffic, subway, dog eight the homework. one morning i spontaneously said to one of them, ray, thank you for being late. because you were late i have actually been eavesdropping on their conversations. i have been people watching in
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the lobby. fantastic. most importantly i just connected two ideas he been struggling for months. thank you for being late. people started to get into it. they say, well, you're welcome. as they understood i was giving them permission to pause, to slow down, to reflect. one of my favorite quotes in the first chapter of the book is is from my friend who says, when you press the pause button on a computer, it stops. but when you press the pause button on the human being, it starts. it starts to reflect. rethink, and re-imagine. i think we have a lot of that to do right now. now, the book was actually inspired because i paused to engage with someone who i normally wouldn't have. i live in bethesda, maryland. i take the subway to work. about once a week. about three years ago i did that. i drive to the bethesda hiatt,
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park in the public parking garage, and i take the red line into d.c. i did that three years ago. worked, get my car. time stamp ticket. got to the booth and the ticket, looks at it and looks at me and says i know who you are. great. he said i read your column. i said great. i said i don't always agree. i thought, get me out of here. but i said, well, that means you have to check. and i drove off. a week later took my weekly drip tripp into d.c., back, car, time stamp ticket. cashier's booth. same guy. this time he says, mr. friedman, i have my own blog. would you read my blog? i thought, oh, my god. the parking guy is now my competitor.
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what just happened? i said write it down for me. he wrote it down. on a piece of receipt. i went home. he was ethiopian. wrote about ethiopian politics. i thought about him, and said this is a sign from god. i should actually pause and interact with this guy. but i didn't have his email. the only way i could do it was park in the parking garage every day. i did that for four days. we finally overlapped again in the morning. i stopped my car in the gate. i said i have your email. i had his name. he happily gave it to me. that night i sent him an email. i repeat all the emails exchange in the front of the book. funny. i said i have a proposition for you. i will teach you how to write a column if you will tell me your life story. and he basically said, i see you are proposing a deal. like this deal. so he asked that we meet at peete's coffeehouse in bethesda near his office.
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and we did that two weeks later. i presented him with a six-page memo how to write a column. first time i put it all together in this way. told me his life story. i'll leave his story aside. you can read it in the book. what i explained in my memo is that a news story is meant to inform. it can do so better or worse. like a news story about this event. a column is meant to provoke. i'm either in the heating business or the lighting business. that's what i do. i either do heating or lighting. it's stoking up an emotion or illuminating something four, i dealy if do i both together, will i produce one of several reactions that tell me i produce heat or light. read my column and say i didn't know that, i never looked at it that way, i never connected those things. your favorite, live for, this you said exactly what i felt didn't know how to say. god bless you. i want to kill you dead, you and all your off spring. any of those will tell me that i produced heat or light. but to do that requires actually
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a chemical reaction. you have to gin three compounds. the first is what is your value set? what is the world view you are trying trocomprow moat. communist, capitalist, neocon, keynesian, libertarian? second, how do you think the machine works? the machine is my short-hand, but what are the biggest forces shaping more things and more places in more ways and more days? i'm always carrying around in my head a working hypothesiscy of how the machine works. once i call the lexus neurology. the this book is about the latest iteration. what i'm trying to do as a columnist take my value set and push that machine. if i don't know how it works or won't push it or push it in the wrong direction. lastly, ray alluded to this, what have you learned about the people and culture? there is no column without
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people. the people in culture affects the machine or vice versa. mix those together. stir, let it rise for 45 minutes and bake. if you do it right you'll produce a column that produces emotions. i had three sessions at the coffeehouse explaining this to him three years ago. by the end i started to say to my wife and myself, what's my value set? i'm not really republican or democrat. i'm very eclectic in my views. where did it come from? how do i think the machine works today, and what have i learned about people? i decided that was the book i wanted to write. that's the book you have next to you. so let me just focus on one aspect of it. how i think the machine works because that's the fly wheel that's driving everything. i think that what's shaping more things in more places in more ways on more days is we're currently in the middle of three, three nonlinear accelerations, all at the same time, with the three largest forces on the planet which i
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call the market, mother nature, and moore's law. moore's law, microchips will double every 24 months. now it's closer to 30. never mind. that's an exponential that has actually held up for over 50 years. if you put it on a graph, looks like a hockey stick. mother nature for me is climate change, biodiversity, population, put it on a graph, like like a hockey stick. the market is digital globalization. not your grandfather's globalization. not containers on ships, that's going down. but what is exploding is the fact that everything is now being digitized and globalized through twitter, facebook, pay pal, instagram. put it on a graph it looks like a hockey stick. we're in the middle of three hockey stick accelerations all at the same time in the three largest forces on the planet and they are interacting with one another.
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more moore's law drives globalization which drives climate change and solutions. the argument of the book is these accelerations isn't just changing your world of the it's fundamentally reshaping it. it's reshaping five rellments. politics, your politics, ethics. the workplace. and community. first part of the book is about the he acceleration. second part is about the reshaping. let me just talk quickly about this fly wheel, the one ray alluded to, in technology. my chapter on this is called, what the hell happened in 2007? 2007. that's an innocuous year. what is this guy talking about? here's what happened in 2007. 2007, san francisco, steve jobs introduced the iphone.
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he set us on a path putting a han held enabled computer in the hand of every person on the planet. that's not all that happened in 2007. 2007, facebook came out of high schools and universities and made available to anyone with an email address. it went global. late, 2006. in 2007, a company called twitter, which was founded in 2006, went global. 2007, the most important software you've never heard of called hadu, which basically has formed the basis for big data, enabling a million computers to work as one computer, opened its doors and launched its software. in twetch, the second most important company you never heard of, bithub opened its doors. now the world's largest repository of open source software and growing at incredible clip. in 2007, google, put out a new
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operating system called android. 2007, going thele bought a company called youtube. in 2007, jeff came out with something called the kindle. in 2007, i.b.m. started a cognitive computer called watson. in 2005, michael dell retired. he had enough. in 2007, he came back to work. he realized what had happened around him. ever seen a graph of the cost of sequencing a human genome? sorry, go back one. there it is. here's a graph of the -- starts at $100 million in 2001. the sequence one human genome. you notice a waterfall there? in 2007, the price begins to collapse and take us toward
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basically $1,200. from $100 million. 2007 was the pivotal year. 2007 the growth of solar power begins. 2007 also we saw the first emergence of a process called fracking. the combination of big data enabled that. this is the cost of generating megabit of data anti-speed with which we can actually transmit it. this is the foundation of social networking. notice when the lines cross. right around 2008. the price collapse and the speed took off right aren't 2008. this is moore's law. this is called computing. let's see, when did cog computing start? well, the first time we detect is in 2008.
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norneds, it started in 2007. what happened in 2007, friends, i think will be understood in times as the influction point since the printing press and we completely missed it because of 2008. what happened in 2007 is our physical technologies just took off like we were on a moving sidewalk in an airport that suddenly went from 5,000 -mile-an-hour to 50 miles an hour. we literally felt the ground moving from our feet and 2008 happened and all the social technologies we needed to go along with the learning, the adaptive mechanisms, the management systems, the regulation and deregulation all froze and we've been living in that area. this is one who runs google x just did on the back of an i.b.m.
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and it describes in brief where we are. the blue line is the average rate in which societies and human beings adapt to human change over time. it has a positive slope but it's gradual. the white line is technology. let's call that moore's law. if you lived in the 11th century or 12th century, life really didn't change. but then we got galileo and copurnicus and said we are here. we are at a point where technology is evolving faster than the average human being and society can adapt. our challenge? this is what politics is going to be about, is that dotted line. how do we learn faster and govern smarter in order to get more people at the rate of change of technology to be able to adapt? what actually happened between 2000 and 2007 was this. around the year 2000 there was a
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massive price collapse in the price of connectivity. it happened to do with the dot-com boom and bust. we made connectivity basically free. because we collapsed the price of fiber-optic cabe. and i came along at that point and wrote a book about it. it's called "the world is flat." i said, wow, i can now touch people i never touched before and i can be touched by people who never touched me before. what happened in 2007 was another price collapse. it was in the price of compute and storage, by being able to link all these computers together to be able to operate as one. and what that did is made complexity. think about what it was to get a taxi five years ago and what is today on your cell phone. with one touch you can get a taxi, pay the taxi, direct the taxi and rate the taxi.
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all that complexity has been davegbavekly abstracted away and reduced -- basically be a tracted away and reduced to touch. that's happening everywhere in the economy. we are putting greece into everything by making complexity free and by making everything lighter and everything to move. now, when you make keck connectivity fast, free and easy to use and you make complexity fast, free, easy for you and invisible and you put them two together, you have the cloud. but i never use the term cloud in my book. don't like that word because it sounds so soft, so cuddle -- cuddley, so fluffy. sounds like a joany mitchell song. (music) i looked at clouds from both sides (music) this ain't no cloud, folks. this is a supernova.
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it's the largest force of nature. it's the explosion of a star, only this is an ever-accelerating supernova and it's the energy source driving everything. where did you want to build your town in the middle ages? you wanted to build them on the river. why? because that river gave you power, transportation, food and ideas. you wanted to build your town on the amazon. where do you want to build your town today? on amazon.com. you want to build it on this cloud which is now the energy source for all of these things. and what this energy source has done in a very rapid succession has changed four kinds of power. it changed the power of one while what one person can do now, make things or break things. we have a president-elect that sits in his pent house and on his cell phone communicates with literally billions of people at any second he feels like it. it's changed the power of
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machines. machines can now think. they're basically all five senses. it's changing the power of ideas. ideas now flow at a rate we've never seen before. five years ago barack obama said marriage was between a man and a woman. today barack obama said marriage is between any two human beings who loves one another and he's following ireland in that position. ideas now flow and melt away at a rate we've never seen before. and lastly it's changed the power of many. we as a collective are now a force of innature. in fact, we have a geophysical era being named after us, the anthrops. the argument of my book is this is not just reshaping things, it's not changing things, it's reshaping things. it's reshaping these five realms. let me talk briefly about two of them. my chapter on the workplace, how it's being reshaped, because i know it's central to all of you is called how we turn a.i.
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into i.a. how do we take artificial intelligence and turn it into intelligent assistance, a-n-c-e, intelligent a-n-cs. so my example of intelligent assistance is i profile the human resources department at at&t. at&t, 360,000 employees. they live next to the supernova. they feel its heat every day. their human resources department pretty good chance what they're doing is going to come to a company near you. here's what they do. randall stevenson, their c.e.o., begins with a speech transparent how he sees the world, what businesses they will be in and what skills at&t employees are going to need. then they put every at&t employee on their own in-house system. and they look at it and they say, tom, can you -- you got 10 -- seven of the 10 skills you need to thrive here at at&t but
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>>9- thrive here at at&t but you're missing three. then they partner with sebastian from wadacity to create in an owe degrees for all 10 of those skills and they say we'll give you up to $8500 to take the classes for the skill sets you're missing with one condition. you have to take them on your own time. our bargain with you is if you take those courses when these jobs open you'll get the first crack at them. we won't go outside. if you're not interested, if you climbed up one too many telephone poles, we have a wonderful searches package for you but you won't be working at at&t. their social contract with their employees, which i think is the social contract coming to a neighborhood near you, is you can be a life-long employee at at&t but only if you're a life-long learn er and that is the new social comm.
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alluding to what the secretary of commerce said, this is hard for people. now will now be more on. now will now be on you and that's why self-motivation, grit will be so much more important. intelligent assistant, qualcomm, another company, they made a cell phone. qualcomm has a campus in san diego. they have 64 buildings. two years ago they wired, they put sensors on every building, every door, window, hvac system, computer, sink, faucet. they have sensors on everything. they beam all that data up to the cloud and they beam it down on a dash board to their janitors who now walk around with an intelligent assistant. they know if you left your computer on, they know if they left your door open, they know if you set the temperature too high. swipe down is where the maintenance can be found and the whole repair manual. their janitors now give tours to
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foreign visitors. they are maintenance technologists with an intelligent assistant, they've been able to live above the line. intelligent algorithm, that's the partnership between the college board and conn academy. so you all look roughly my age. i'm 63. some older, some younger. 11th grade, psat exam and then the sat. you went out and hired a tutor because you were not sure your kid could get into college and at $200 a crack you had to pay some knuckle head to help your kid in algebra and calculus and writing. if you are from a disadvantaged family or neighborhood you are computely behind the 8-ball. they partnered to develop a program for free s.a.t. prep.
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works like this. in 11th grade you get the psat. they say, tom, you're really good. you did good. but you have a problem with fractions and right angles. then it takes me directly to an academy site devoted just to the fractions and right angle problems i missed. if i do well it takes me another site that suggests maybe i can do a.p. math in 12th grade. if do i well it takes me to another site that offers 200 scholarships. last year 200 million kids availed themselves of free s.a.t. prep of this intelligent algorithm and this is going on in so many other ways throughout the work force today. so that's just an example of how people are dealing with it in the workplace. let me close and be able to take one or two questions by talking
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about how ethics are being reshaped by these accelerations which i think not only is much more important issue than you think, but in this election we hit an ethical tipping point. so the chapters is called "is god in cyberspace"? it comes from the best question, 1999, i'm selling, man stands up in the balcony and says, i have a question. is god in cyberspace? i thought, ah, i don't know. and i felt like a complete idiot. so i went home and i called my rabbi, my spiritual teacher. he's living in amsterdam. i got to know him at the hartman institute when i was a correspondent in jerusalem.
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he's married to a dutch priest. i called him in amsterdam and said, steve, i have a question i never answered before. is god in cyberspace? what should i have said? he said, well, tom, in our faith tradition we have two concepts of the almighty one is he's almighty. we have a postbiblical concept. it's almighty is almighty. he smites evil and shows god. cyberspace has gambling, pornography, misleading fake news. but he said we have a postbibilical view of god and the postbiblical view of god and that is god manifests himself how we behave.
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if you want god to be in cyberspace, we have to bring him there by how we behave there. well, i took his answer and i put it into the paper book edition of the book and i completely forgot about it for 20 years. started working on this book and i found myself telling that story over and over. i finally sat myself down and said, why are you retelling that story? and it quickly became obvious. it's because everything is now moving to cyberspace where we learn, where we reach our readers, where we find a partner for life, where we do our business, where we communicate. everything is moving into a realm where we're all connected but no one's in charge. so the first phase of this was kind of cool. look at me. i'm my own publisher. look at me. i'm my own journalist. look at me, i'm my own political fundraiser. it all felt really cool and new. and then in this election, we hit a critical mass. look at me, i can make up the
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news. what was the word of the year by the oxnard english dictionary that came out last week? post-truth. all our lives are now moving into a realm where we're all connected but no one's in charge. oh, mark zuckerberg's got an answer. the algorithm will do it. really? i tell the story in the book of how youtube was running miller beer ads on isis videos. and you know who is doing that? the algorithm was doing that. we are turning over to the algorithm value decisions that only belong to human beings. zuckerberg, he wants our advertisers. he wants our readers. this is one thing he doesn't want to pay for, our editors. he's going to let the algorithm do that. well, we saw in this election what happens when this reaches
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scale. so what is this chapter about? it's about the fact we've just reached a moral intersection we have never stood at before as a human species. in 1945, we entered a world where one country could kill all of us. it had to be one country. i'm glad it was mine. post-hiroshima. i believe we are entering a world where one person can kill all of us and all of us could fix everything. we've actually never stood at this intersection where one of us could kill all of us and all of us is if we put our minds to it with these amazingly amplified technologies, we can feed, house, clothe, educate every person on the planet. therefore, what? therefore, we've actually never
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been more god-like as a species. and if we're going to be god-like, we better have the golden rule. and the golden rule better scale to everyone. i gave the commencement address this year at olin college of engineering in massachusetts and this was the theme of my talk. at this point i said to the parents in the audience. i know what you're thinking. you paid 200 grand so your kid could get the engineering degree and there is a knucklehead up there telling you what's really important is, did they learn the golden rule? is there anything more naive?
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and my answer is, in the age of acceleration, naive today, naive today is the new realist. i will tell you what's really naive. thinking in the world of this much amplified power we're going to be ok if everyone doesn't get the golden rule. where does the golden rule come from? it comes from strong families and healthy communities. don't know much about -- i'm not an expert on strong families but i happened to grow up in a healthy community. and the last part of my book and that's where my values came from and that's the small town/suburb
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in minnesota where i grew up and my argument is it's the healthy community that's going to be the political building block of the 21th century. not the single family, too weak. especially too many single parents. it's going to be the healthy community. so let me just conclude by saying my book has a theme song. i thought about buying it. so you'd open the book, it would play this song like a hallmark card plays "happy birthday." it's by one of my favorite singers, brandi carlile. it's called " the eye." e-y-e. i wrapped your love around me like a chain but i was never afraid it would die. you can dance in a hurricane but only if you're standing in the eye. i believe these three accelerations are like a hurricane. donald trump was selling a wall. i'm selling an eye. i think the eye is the healthy community that can move with the storm, draw energy from it but provide a platform of dynamic stability within it where people can feel connected, protected and respected. i believe politics in the next four years is going to be a gigantic clash between the wall people and the eye people. thank you very much. [applause] thank you, thank you. i guess i have time for two questions. yes, please. >> hi. i'm jose. i ran a business. [inaudible]
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and i absolutely -- mind-blowing and really an eye opener and i couldn't agree more. what strikes me is was written learning faster and governing smarter. we never had as much access to information as we have today. [inaudible] >> google's top search was, if i'm not mistaken, what is e.u. thomas: what is brexit. >> what is brexit. we are living in the world where
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people learn fast and governments to govern smarter. it seems to me that what happened is that intersection you have there, human beings do what we all do when we have -- when we don't understand something, when we fear something, we regress. thomas: yes. >> so my question is, how can we go back and, you know, [inaudible] how can we all in this room help in that journey? because we need an effort from all of us. thomas: thank you. it's a very important question. i will tell you i don't have a simple answer. this book took me longer. my publisher let me go to one column a week. i couldn't have done it otherwise. i had some really unusual experiences writing the book. the first was an experience i never had before. i felt like i had a butterfly net and i was chasing a butterfly and every time i got close to write that chapter it moved. so i had to call brian krzanich, the c.e.o. of intel, three times
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in the writing of the book to just make sure that what he told me six months ago still applied. doug cutting, the founder of hadoop, i talked to him at least six times during the writing of the book. right until the last week i sent his chapter. make sure it's up to date. so part of the answer is, i don't know what donald trump's been doing over the last few years or hillary clinton. i didn't tell you about the environmental part or globalization part. resilience institute at stockholm. i spent three years trying to connect these dots, this really hard work. the world is a big data set for me and this book is my algorithm, basically to explain it and you have to be constantly refreshing it. so it really puts such a premium on leadership that can -- i'm doing life-long learning. i'm a columnist at the "times." if i am not a lifelong learner, my readers will go somewhere else.
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this book was one giant survival to me. everybody's got to do that. and then to help people navigate it and what happened around brexit is we saw the anti-brexit just like hillary clinton used fear, you know, rather than explaining to people what world we're in, what the connections are, here's the upside and here's the downside. now, again, ray alluded to this. i profile in the book so i grew up in a freaky suburb, town of minneapolis called st. louis park where i went -- lived in the same neighborhood with the brothers, al franken, alan wiseman. we all went to the same high school and hebrew school. it was not a neighborhood in the upper west side.
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it was a little side in minnesota. the movie by the coon brothers was about our neighborhood. what was going on there? basically what happened in minnesota was that in the 1940's, all the jews lived in the north side of minneapolis with the african-american community. it was a ghetto in mid 1950's, the world opened up to the jews and they all move in a space of three years to one neighborhood. the only one that didn't have red lining, st. louis park. that's how we all ended up. so overnight a suburb that was 100% protestant catholic, scandinavian, became 20% jewish, protestant. catholic, scandivavian. if finland and israel had a baby it would be st. louis park, ok, and it produces this incredible of jewish knew rose is and scandinavian pluralism and decency and really launched a lot of us into the world and shaped all our fathers who are actual communitarians in our own way. i have a congressman from minnesota and this is partly an introduction to that, who said to be growing up in minnesota in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's if you're average white male with an average college degree, in the 1960's in 1970's, in minnesota you needed a plan to fail.
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you actually had to have a plan to fail because there was so much wind at our back, so many blue-collar jobs that allowed you to have high wages for middle skills. my uncle who only had a high school degree worked at a bank. that you needed to have a plan to fail. all of that changes today.
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today you need a plan to succeed. and you need to update that plan every six months. big fan of hoffman's book "startup of you" because it's all about how now more is on you. and that is the scariest thing for so many people. the government can't do it for you. you know, you got to do it yourself. and telling people that fundamental truth, well, nobody did it in this campaign. donald trump blamed somebody. hillary clinton blamed somebody. but more will be on you to be that life-long learner and to take ownership of that responsibility. ownership is the most important word in the english language. when a student owns their own education, when a teacher owns their classroom, when citizens feel they own their country, you get self-sustaining, self-propulsion. when they don't, when they're waiting for somebody else, you get hammered.

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