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I thank everyone for coming I think we should turn the speaker series into people who really don't need an introduction speaker series but I will give a brief introduction regardless this is Tom Friedman a famous writer three Pulitzer Prizes New York time columnist many of you all might not have realized that that we we know each other and and that every morning we coordinate our outfits what are you wearing today so we do pink today yes but but it's it's it's a real honor to have you here and and and where I like to start is I mean a lot of people know you as like the public person and and I do this really for a lot of frankly a lot of people who just might be watching Khan Academy young students or whatever and I'm always curious how a Tom Friedman becomes the Tom Friedman I mean what what brought you on this path um so it's interesting I grew up in was born in Minnesota um I grew up in st. Louis Park a small suburb of Minneapolis yeah I've always thought to be a successful columnist and whether I am or not someone else can judge but it's really important to be from somewhere so it's really important to be grounded in in a in a worldview that you take around the world and you measure against other things you see and so the thing you have to understand about my column is I'm always looking for Minnesota yeah so what does that mean it means I grew up in Minnesota at a particular time when politics really sort of worked so I graduated from high school in 1971 and that was the year that Walt that our sorry our governor sandy has last name now Anderson was on the cover of Time magazine holding up a walleye under the a walleye fish a walleye walleye fish yeah it's a Minnesota fish under the headline Minnesota the state that works so I grew up in a totally liberal district and my whole life my congressmen were too liberal Republicans not Democrats my Senators growing up or Walter Mondale Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey Wow the companies I grew up with were a Dayton Hudson Target Honeywell 3m who thought it was part of their responsibility reduce corporate social responsibility to build the symphony to fund education programs so it gave me I now only realize in retrospect a very powerful sense of that politics is something that can work that communities can come together and so when I later yo went to the Middle East or Beirut or whatever I carried that with me and a lot of what I saw was I wish I saw communities falling apart somebody else may have said something else so my life changed in in 10th grade I had a great teacher um and her name was Hattie Steinberg and she taught journalism in room 313 at st. Louis Park High School and her class is still the only journalism course I've ever taken not because I'm that good but because she was that good it's the only one I ever needed and she really inspired me to want to be a journalist and and and a writer and in that same year my parents took me to Israel on a trip to visit my sister is going to school there I had never been out of the state of Minnesota I was 15 except for a few brief forays into Wisconsin and I had never been on an airplane and so that was my first trip I came to the Middle East came to Israel and I was kind of blown away so I actually lived on a kibbutz all three summers of high school I got totally fascinated with the Middle East drop everything and was just totally absorbed with journalism and the Middle East and I then went to college I started taking Arabic as a freshman I eventually did a semester at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem a semester at American verse in Cairo and I graduated in in 1975 from Brandeis ultimately and in Middle East Studies and I had a Marshall scholarship to study Arabic in Middle East history ultimately in England I did my first year at the School of Oriental and African Studies in I went to Oxford and sort of had a classic British Arabist education at st. Anthony's but while I was in London I then I met my then girlfriend now wife and bucksmom and who was a Stanford grad would graduated a year early and kind of she said told her dad you owe me a year at college so she decided to go LSE for a year and we met through mutual friends in London and my real journalism career started because this was 1975 and we were walking down the street in London and you know the Evening Standard newsstand they always have that blaring headline you no Brad - Jen were finished by the evening paper and we're walking down the street in London and I saw the headline on the Evening Standard and it said Carter to Jews : if elected I promise to fire dr. K and I I stopped and looked at that and I said to my then girlfriend now wife isn't that interesting this guy is running for president jimmy carter he's trying to win jewish folks by promising to fire henry kissinger the first every jewish Secretary of State so how could that be and that sort how my mind works and I have no idea what possessed me but I went back to my dorm and I wrote a column about it and I my then girlfriend now wife really liked it and she is from Des Moines Iowa she took it home on a spring or winter break I don't remember now and gave it to a family friend named Gilbert cranber-- who is the editorial page editor of the DesMoines edge astir and wonderful Midwest paper at that time and he liked it and he printed it on their op-ed page half the op-ed page under an auth cartoon and they have cartoon oh yeah a cartoonist Oh under an Oscar tune wrong time frame yeah and and they paid me $50 Wow and I thought that was the coolest thing in the whole I was walking down the street I had an opinion I went and wrote it I gave it to someone and they paid me 50 people pay for this and I just thought I was hooked ever after so during my time at Oxford I wrote op-ed columns about the Middle East for the Minneapolis Star entry of you and my hometown paper where else into the auditory page editor and for my wife's then-girlfriend wife's hometown paper so I graduated from Oxford in 78 and I had a wonderful time there I studied with Albert irani a great Erebus story and a wonderful man and so I went to apply for a job and I decided I was apply could friend of mine I applied at ap once in London so I applied for a job at The Associated Press and United Press International in London and the AP said you you've you've never covered a fire you've never covered a city hall meeting but I had a dozen from the Middle East and UPI kind of be Avis and ap being hurt said look the kids never covered a fire but if he could do this we could probably teach them that and there's just been a revolution in Iran and they think they use the same kind of letters as a bunch of squiggles and if he knew the Arabic stuff maybe we could teach him to do that and so they hired me for $200 a week on Fleet Street and I worked there for almost a year when the number two man and the Beirut Bureau of UPI got shot in the ear by a man robbing a jewelry store on Hamra Street and he called the headquarters and said I want to get out of here I do not want to pass go I do not want to collect $200 they route and Beirut started a lot in the even a year by man robbing a jewelry store at a jewelry store and so they UPI came to me and said do you want to go to Beirut you are like 25 25 25 years old and um I've never been to Beirut I've been to Egypt never been to Beirut so I turned to my then wise civil war civil war just started 75 so this was now it's well into its third year this was 79 fourth year actually and we just said this is our moment and gotta go and you're right so and she she she signed up um and so we went off to Beirut and my first night there at the Commodore hotel I I heard a gunshot fired and that was the first time I'd ever heard a gunshot in my life and um you did hear a lot of those in Salus Park and so we're in Beirut for two years Civil War had a very profound experience a searing experience on me because what is and I don't mean this in a voyeuristic way but when you're in one of those situations you see how molecules behave at very high temperatures so what you see is what people are capable of for both good and ill for good and evil in a way you'll never see in any normal environment so the whole color spectrum goes out to here and you learn an enormous amount about people and about yourself so I did that for two years and then the New York Times hired me went back to New York for about 11 months as their correspondent I saw as a business correspondent covering oil and then they sent me back to Beirut in April 1982 and I realized that date doesn't mean anything to anyone in this room weren't born then but Israel invaded Lebanon six weeks later and the Lebanon story became the biggest story in the world and so I covered the Israeli invasion the Marines come in the Marines going the US Embassy bombing Sabra and Shatila the massacres all the journalists I covered the Hama massacre in Syria which was the precursor to what's going on now and maybe the most important experience of that because we're just at the 20th anniversary sorry 30th anniversary of the US Embassy bombing and it's quite important and it's doubly important for what I'll share with you so and on I think it was April 18th you can check the date 1983 I was sitting in my apartment in Beirut in West Beirut and I had a little transistor radio on my desk that was something that was used back then in the Dark Ages to actually listen to the BBC that's how I got my news and and there was a there was a blast so powerful that it actually knocked the radio off my desk like a earthquake almost and so I did what journalists do back there and I just ran down to the street and to do two things one is Israeli set off a lot of sonic booms by supersonic jets over Beirut so a sonic boom sounds a lot like a car bomb or anything you don't know that and so the first thing you listened for our sirens it's a sonic boom you won't hear sirens if it's not if your sirens it's bad and I quickly saw a mushroom cloud curling up in the distance and a big one and so I just ran toward it and that's what we do you know I mean so and I got closer and closer and said on it could couldn't be it could not could and I sort of rounded the turn at the American University in Beirut and there was the US Embassy which I used to live across the street from cut in half like a doll's house bodies hanging out you know papers desks a smoldering smoking ruin and staggering around um was a young political officer named Ryan Crocker who actually spoke to you today because Ryan later became ambassador to Beirut to Syria to Afghanistan in Iraq and I don't remember it's him or someone else but I said what happened and they said a man drove a truck you remember US Embassy in those days had no perimeter wow you just walked up to the front door right a man drove a truck through the driveway up the front stairs into the lobby and blew it up and I'll never forget what I said you mean he blew himself you mean he committed suicide right that was unheard of that was I mean I I literally I could not get my mind around it and that was the beginning that was the first one and that's really where the phenomena started so anyways a did two more years in Beirut for the New York Times it was a remarkable remarkable in the sense of the did you see the human drama that played I have about eight million brain from but I mean especially when you hear about war correspondents people who are in this war zones I mean did you I mean your and your wife's there with you yeah did you fear for your life I mean you could go back to wherever New York I mean the Apple is right ball of America wasn't built then so there were times that I came to Beirut in April 1982 the war started in June and unfortunately in the first week of the war a massive number of refugees came up from the south mostly Palestinian my driver in Beirut was a Palestinian and he'd worked for the time since the 50s actually as a driver for Kim Philby I mean Mohammed had seen like it all and we he began to fear for my safety because refugees were taking over apartments that any a vacant apartment and this was summer so a lot of Beirut ease had gone to you know other people just a lot and breaking an empty apartment move India and so he chose he decided to move his wife and two daughters into my apartment and moved me into the hotel he thought it would be much safer for me and tragically two groups of refugees got in a fight over my building and the one that lost blew it up and so the building was completely destroyed and unfortunately my driver's wife and two daughters were killed in my apartment and that was in the first week of the war and so you know that was obviously I could have been there my wife hadn't come over yet you know I really said you know people always ask you that and I honestly don't think about I remember once being out the interview are fought when his Raiders bombed the neighborhood and I just remember that when a big concussion bomb hits how it sucked all the oxygen out of the air I was once walking around Beirut Airport with the Marines when a ricochet came over our heads and when a ricochet caused the ricochet slows down a bullet you can actually hear it turning when he gets closer to you yeah so I remember those kind of things but you know most the time I tried to be prudent people say Joe a bulletproof vest and my motto is if you need a bulletproof vest you're somewhere you shouldn't be because yeah there's no sense in getting yourself killed so I tried to be as prudent as I could I still did some crazy-ass things but I used to walk home at night after work at 11:00 which I still can't believe and I wrote about this I wrote a book called to me about they were to Jerusalem and dump there was a time where I was walking home at night with my wife as a teenager I really it's good yeah after a movie and we were walking down the streets of Beirut and a man jumped out a window on with a pistol his hand and literally landed like right in front of us and I just say Beirut was so dangerous at night you could walk home because even the criminals were afraid to be on but he looked at us and we looked at him yeah and he just like Bob as a bat man you know jumped out but but basically we tried to be prudent we obviously saw some many tragic scenes I as a that kid from Saint Louis Park never had to help dig his driver's wife and two daughters out of the rubble of an apartment so it was a searing experience for me and um you hold a lot of stuff in because I was there for the New York Times is my first assignment for The Times the city was under seeds they couldn't get more reporters in so they were stuck with me and um but at the end of the summer I might deal with The Times was that I'm gonna stay here I was in the south when Israel invaded and I'm gonna stay here till the PLO leaves so that was the negotiation the PLO is gonna leave you know what not and because I wanted you know in your career at the New York Times if you write one sixth column headline story for the New York Times that's a big deal right I probably had eight that summer you know these were and I wanted to have Israel invades and war ends you know and I just you know I was gonna stick it out so um the day finally came at the PIO left and I always give this as a lesson to young journalists um Business Saturday I went down to the port to watch them go and trucks get on these boats to Greece and Tunisia and whatnot and I actually was with Peter Jennings the late Peter Jennings from ABC and I remember he was standing there and a palestine's are all shooting the GAO in the air and um we were covered in shell cases I just one of my searing memories but it was an amazing scene and had been there all summer and it's just the culmination of the whole thing and um I went back to the Reuters bureau where so where I worked and just one of noisy old-time newsrooms which I love by the way those days um you worked on something he was called a typewriter okay and so I worked on an Adler I so proud I had a German typewriter actually got blown up but um I got another one and I'm in the Reuters bureau working on my typewriter the way you wrote stories back then the way you wrote your news story you had to write it's three paragraphs at a time hand it to a telex operator they punched it into telex tape and then it was telex to the New York Times came out as telex tape and they fed it into a computer and that then that was edited that's how it all work try writing a story three paragraphs at a time yeah so you have to write the whole thing through because you gotta know where you're going then right is through again and then you kind of write it through and hand it in so I I'm it's but Saturdays by three o'clock I'm doing this I'm writing this my last is a culmination of the all summer and all the communications from Beirut to the west of the world went down somebody basically either unplugged the PTT because they only through one PTT line post telephone and telegraph and no cell phones then no nothing so the entire communications between Beirut and the rest of the world were cut down I still today have the telex tape in a shoe box of my last story from Lebanon I stayed by the telex all night to see if it would come on it never did and that Sunday morning under six column headline said Palestinians evacuate Beirut Associated Press and well I always tell young journalists about that is that it's really my view of life which is that it's all about the journey not about the destination I love the movie Moneyball because you just got to enjoy the show and sometimes you don't have the headline you don't have the thing but I don't mean enjoy a war but you're saying you know they've just got a real excuse got it limit yeah it's got to be satisfied by the experience because sometimes that the PTT goes down you know and you never had experience like that gentleman who got his ear shot we're just like oh no you know I never you know you do get I I'm not I'm not some super guy I mean I just you do get hardened to it though you try to be prudent I mean Beirut to Jerusalem I talked about a scene where I was with a colleague who they did get into to Beirut at one point and he was very jittery and nervous about the whole thing and at one point I was working on my story on deadlines and we're at the Reuters Bureau and there is a man shooting at another person in the park across the street and he came over to me said did you see that guy that had the gun in his gut he was shooting like this and I just looked up I said bill was he shooting at you because if he wasn't shooting at you I am on deadline okay and obviously was not like summit but you're just really focused about what you do you know and and I tried I was not people did much crazier things in me I just not didn't you know I tried to take care of myself at obviously you you're in a dangerous situation Beirut you're in a dangerous situation but you know I'll tell you Sal the people I went through that with will I go back to Lebanon pretty much once a year still because they are among my closest and dearest friends because we were all on the Titanic together you know and the friends I have who I went through Beirut with are like no friends I have a there's another story from Beirut to Jerusalem that I love to tell because we had a our local reporter there New York Times a guy named Exxon he has a brilliant Palestinian reporter and a real teacher of mine and he tells the story in the book because Israel's were bombing they would all the time then and one point they were in their living room you know just waiting for the bombing to end and with a candle going on and a mouse appeared and it was like he and his wife were up on the couch I mean like fear you can be afraid of funny things yeah I mean like the bombing has come they can be obliterated anymore but that mouse the daylights idea and so you you get just really funny things like you you you don't have experiences like that anywhere else we you learn so much about human nature and so I was there for over the course of five years I was there that probably four full years so they went back for the New York Times and the time said hey do you want to go to Jerusalem so the New York Times had never had a Jewish reporter in Israel it was a rule of the paper and they they tried to change that rule my predecessor David shipler but they discovered after they appointed him that he just looked Jewish but he wasn't actually Jewish okay and so they didn't make that mistake with me and and they said you've already done Barry would not do Jerusalem and no one ever done that before so I thought that'd be kind of interesting so I did that for five years and that was um a very different experience the boundaries you know were much narrower you know the color spectrums you did you didn't have and um I did that and then I took a year off I wrote from Beirut to Jerusalem then I when I got back to Washington they said whoever becomes the next president you will be the chief diplomatic correspondent so I they turned out to be George Bush the elder he named Jim Baker Secretary of State and so after my year off writing this book I became the chief diplomatic correspondent and traveling like Secretary of State yourself no actually I not not only should I know it's not false modesty in the least I didn't know anything about anything other than Middle East and so I got a great education traveling with Baker first nine months was really boring and I'm thinking I gave up covering a drama to covering a policy and I gave up carving a Streep to covering a hall like what did you do and and then this uh this wall and Bay in Berlin came down and and suddenly I found myself traveling seven hundred fifty thousand miles with Baker with a front row seat to the end of the Cold War you're like in the plane they play they say he takes ten reporters with him and it was just an amazing front row seat to the end of the Cold War so I felt like I was really lucky twice because in this business of you're in the right place at the right time one time like you're lucky and I thought this was really lucky so I did that for four years great education then I just very quickly I was a chief White House correspondent for the first year of Bill Clinton and that was mr. Toad's Wild Ride I have to tell you mr. Toad's Wild Ride that was such a crazy-ass experience thing I don't know what White House was just they were fun and he was fun and and it was I thank God it was the end of the Cold War so it wasn't a serious time so uh uh nobody got hurt you know and that's the stuff that that you saw that's right it was yeah but I did that for a year and covering the White House it's an experience every journalist should have because it's a very interesting experience but none dare call it journalism you know I said across between babysitting and stenography you know because you uh you're there but you know you got to go everywhere with your baby see the press so you also know where you go every go yeah but you take turns flying an Air Force one because it's a pool you know so so I thought I did it for a year but like I got the point after year and said I don't really want to do this because one of these were covering the White House and the State Department is back in those days again the prehistoric days the Washington Post and New York Times exchanged front pages at 10:30 every evening so we saw what they had and they saw what we had really and it was a little restraint of your ba obvious trade people don't realize and if you're sitting at home when you're covering the White House or the State Department there's just one thing you don't want a phone call at 10:35 okay cuz when the phone rings at 10:35 you are only bad things they're gonna happen well that okay the Washington Post in law or no their editor says the Washington Post has a front-page story that Jim Baker is about to announce this and you have to start to match it at 10:35 at night you haven't lived till you've called a senior administration official at home at 10:35 at night okay to match a Washington Post story and so not only are you up till midnight matching their story but you know when you come into the office the next morning everyone knows they've got the lead story that you missed okay so anyways that's just part of prehistoric age you know basically no Twitter then they would coordinate not to be embarrassed exactly she would give each other a chance to match each other's story but with the codicil that said as reported in the Washington Post first you know so right you had to kind of eat that crow you know hoping for you yeah before you matched it and so then I they transferred me to be the chief economics correspondent the Treasury Department and this was sort of this no early 90s netscape's just been invented this thing called the Internet I remember when Bill Clinton was president like the president no nted email okay there was no one had heard email so um and this thing called goo-goo-goo globalization was a warning and so I was at the Treasury Department just as we were kind of shifting from general Powell to General Electric you know in terms of our our kind of concerns and the knack third words yeah I don't know where it comes from it's a they tell me that so it's a and so I did that for three years and then they made me the Foreign Affairs columnist and I've been doing that ever since and then I came here yesterday so he came yesterday and I think this is destiny because you talk about these life moments one discovering the op-ed how you could communicate and all of these other experiences there's this form factor called the YouTube video yes which I think some organizations could get you to make in some videos absolutely I know I should do that and I thought of doing a MOOC yes it's funny so I um my my youngest daughter went to Williams College and Williams head is on the four one four system and this is relevant now for Khan Academy I think which is that so the one is a winter term which kind of fun so you take winemaking trip to Moscow but it's a freshman you have to do yes on campus so um in a shameless effort to be near my daughter I agreed I had a friend there was teaching a course on teaching actually I agreed to teach a course on how to write a column and and it was it was really fun for for one reason I realized that um like I've learned about globalization and written about I've learned about the Middle East I've written about it but I know how to write a column and it was really fun to write about something you know really deeply and to teach it right so the way the course was constructed I created a little book for the class and you had to because I did taught it with a friend of mine who is a educator so you I did you got to teach a lesson yeah okay on Tuesday and then you had to write a column off that lesson on Thursday and I would come to class and they would emailed their columns ahead of time and then I would deconstruct them in front of them say you know the 18th graph is really the lead the lead is really the kicker you know I showed them I kind of take it apart for them so um what I did though was I created a six of seven chapter book I guess on how to write a column and I just did this Mumia graphed you know but because my view is that there's actually just six kind of columns and if you write a column that gets any one of these six reactions you have a column right so and then I give examples of all six and the last chapter was Tom Friedman is a big fat idiot right wing pinko left wing bottom-dwelling slug I took a days or weeks blogs about me and I put them all in one chapter you know about what a flaming jerk I am um and just explain to people at being a columnist is not a friend growth industry and that you want my life are you ready for Chapter seven okay because you've got to be ready for chapter 7 because I lived with that Greek chorus everyday okay so so the six kind of columns are if so if you were to calm it proves one of these six reactions you got to calm the first is sown reads it and says I didn't know that that's a column yeah you tell people something I didn't know from reporting you know you report something Wow I didn't know that second is I never looked at it that way you give people a new perspective yeah I'm sorry I never looked at that one third your favorite you live for this happens half a dozen times a year if you're lucky you said exactly what I felt but I didn't know how to say god bless you thank you so much the fourth is I want to kill you dead you and all your offspring okay because your column is defined as much by people who are against it will actually write that to you oh yeah that's that's nothing I mean that's the nice stuff okay I'd like to dance on Your Grave you know other people have written that oh oh you get a you get everything but you really need to you know if you don't take chances if you don't you know you see you gotta you gotta better take people on and be taken off um v very hard do not try this trick at home kids you made me laugh you made me cry very hard to do when you do it well oh wow it really works when you do it badly bad humor or bad sort of sentimentality is cringe-inducing so don't try that one unless you're really gonna pull it off and less is what I simply call you challenged me and that is when a columnist challenges his own readers which I believe in doing I do a lot of that and and um so to me if you write and I give examples of all six so if you write one of those kind of six columns you got a column and you target one or just you just go around and think about what you want to write you write it and then you and then you say oh that's category three with a little bit of four no I'm not thinking about it you know I mean I guys I know so my head intuitively I know I know what it is so right now I've got actually three columns wrestling in my head shooting me before I came here I checked on ambassador Ryan Crocker and a plane in LaGuardia after I talked to you um because I had a thought about Syria that was triggered by something he wrote in The Washington Post says excuse me this morning I'm thinking about some of the things you said because it melds well with a McKinsey study that somebody sent me yesterday and um I did a column with a bunch of healthcare innovators last week at HHS I did research for it so I got that in my head some time tomorrow I'll make a commitment for Sunday yeah but right now all three are wrestling and I'm carrying all three around in my head to be a columnist you have to I see columns everywhere like I do it's Nev an hour here and I could easily get a column or two out of this you know and if I didn't you'd kind of die like because I do this place a week it's like what am I gonna write for Wednesday's I have no idea what I'm ready right I really don't have any idea all I know is I've got a four-hour plane fright on Friday and I will write whatever I like today on that four hour plane ride okay I will make a commitment then but so I never worry about the ideas it's more which one to choose all the ideas I have you know right so that's so we will try to convince you to get your course on Khan Academy yeah I would love to I've really no I really thought about doing a MOOC you know or you know something for you guys because it would be your great-grandchildren will learn to write a column it's um it's uh would be it would be a great honor so and and and and what's I mean throughout all of this I mean once again I mean a million a million different things I mean just going from the first question of how you got started I mean what's interesting about it is you just started doing your career and that's what let it's nowhere in that did someone look at your resume and say no all I all well they did they saw but I went to Oxford I study you know an old oppressor so that was that was a door opener yeah but what really got me in was I wrote I had a dozen columns to show right so whatever young journalist come to me said I want to do what you do you know they said what do I need to do what you do and well I said well you know the first thing you need is it you'd be able to type fast I can type take good notes you need to know English you know obviously good for our English and try goods gram punctuate comma goes there you know good to know some economics politics history all those things science environment but there's actually just one thing you need to be a good journalist I believe you have to like people all right you have to really enjoy sitting with them and listening to the crazy things they say and do and the incredible music of their lives and if you cannot hear the music you'll never be able to play the music and I really do like people I love interviewing them I interview them wherever I go and and so I'm struck at how many journalists hate people and and I've known or several of them but I really do like people and I enjoy hearing the music of their life I have an unnamed friend who was in residency for surgical residency and he really brilliant guy and he got some negative feedback from one of the senior residents and the feedback was you know it really just doesn't look like you care about the patients and he was really taking that to heart yeah then I asked him well do you care he's like no yeah I mean I was in I was in San Francisco yesterday and I went to Starbucks because I needed some free wireless because I my wireless was out so I just was going in there and women a guy came by said we have to buy you coffee you're big fans yada yada and so a court mainly said well what do you do what do you know you're in big data analysis fascinating give me your card by 4:30 I met with them again I bought them a drink and interviewed them so there's one good thing about notoriety of people throw [ __ ] at you true that's you know I want to dance on it that's right but on dancing your grave but a lot of other people want to come up and tell you about their lives and what they do and they are just I cannot tell you so how many columns stories and ideas I've gotten from people who just come up to me on the street in an airport in a Starbucks and and tell you things about about their lives so it's I'm really open to that I'm still tickled when someone comes up to me and and says something god I think that's pretty serious if someone stops you and says I want to tell you how I feel about what you're doing you know I mean and so you invite that I mean I realize I welcome Tom Friedman in an airport yeah people do it'll come up and say you know I agree about 90% of what you write and I say hey that's like a perfect number for me because it means you're always going to check yeah um I def for a columnist is if people say I know what he or she is gonna write why should I read it like I don't know what I'm gonna write half the time because my combs very non-ideological and very reporting centric because I'm still a reporter I believe the best columnist SAR are always reporters and I think it's actually true in every profession because I always say I've it colleagues to say that I want to do it you'd only do analysis now yeah to which I say your analysis must not be very good because all my analysis grows out of my reporting it's only when you're working with the clay that you see the patterns you feel the texture and that's where the column comes from and you find it difficult to kind of maintain ground you know you put it you say you put an op-ed and you get a bunch of people on a message board just saying oh you're this that you're this that does that affect you does it maybe I am wrong maybe I do need a little more so it's a really complicated thing I'm not on Twitter and on Facebook because I just be overwhelmed so the signal-to-noise ratio now is the noise is so high that you you can no human being you know people tell you I've got a thick skin doesn't bother me I've never met that person so anytime people are in large numbers saying bad things about you you you by the way many people say the opposite but I don't so not exaggerated but here's what I find kind of about the comments section of the times because we have comments under a column so today they're made four hundred comments you know and you always have to be careful because the times online which are people comment has a little bit of a left bias who reads the New York Times then who reads it online you know it's going to be a younger more left to center audience so you got to be aware of that for starters and but you know very often I confess I'd go to the closet I put on my wetsuit I fixed the helmet to my head you know and I dive into the to the to the comments because let's say you find a lot they're predictable you're this you're that they're nasty their personal or whatever but I'll tell you so invariably when I do it I come across one two or three that are brilliant yeah yeah just and I literally cut and pasted them in my notebook if I got to remember this this is brilliant and that's the beauty of a crowdsourcing so you just it comes with the it just comes with the territory you know you you're by the way you're out they're dishing it out you gotta be able to take it so I'm a big believer in that so you don't seem I'm not in the internet wars like you'll never see me you know fighting be you know without because my attitude is um I got my say you got your say and I'm not gonna prove you're right you're gonna you know ten years ago I wrote the world is flat so since then people have written books you know the world is not flat there's a library they serve the Lord the spiky lumpy junk you know and and people I said I do what did you what did you say about that book and I had to everybody and this is an arrogant look I'm either gonna be right around but we're not gonna know for 10 years okay so come to me in 10 years and and I'd say ten years later yeah I got one big thing wrong it is so much flatter than I thought right and this place is surfing on that you know what happened you know so so I actually I mean you you were just saying right before we chatting about this I mean your most recent op-ed piece you know Oh tell us about it cuz I think that just start to connect with with what we're trying to do here yeah well I think the the what would really can I start at just one 10,000 foot layer higher you know which is um because I really like to think of what I do is a being a plumber that I'm always into where the plumbing is so I spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley and always have because I'm very into where the technology is going what its enabling what is empowering what it's not and so that's really what what what produced the world is flat so I mean may I just tell that story just for a second because it's it's it's relevant um so after 9/11 I spent three years in the in the air Muslim world trying to stand the roots of 9/11 and I wrote from Beirut to Jerusalem then 10 years later I wrote one of the first big books about globalization is called the Lexus in the olive tree okay that came out of late 90s and then I put that subject down after 9/11 and really focused on trying to stay on the roots of 9/11 I also started doing documentaries and for the Discovery Channel so Discovery Channel in new york times created a partnership i did a documentary after 9/11 called the roots of 9/11 which i very proud of and um I did one then on the wall is really built in the West Bank and in February 2004 we were sitting around with our discovery team what should we do our next documentary on and Kerry was running against Bush for for president and at the time my idea was let's do a documentary about why everybody hates America thought you know that was a hot subject Bush was president running for re-election why is everybody hate us and so how should we do that well I had this crazy idea we should go to outsourcing centers all over the world and interview young people who spend their days imitating Americans on what they think of America I thought it'd make a fascinating double-berry yeah you know shall by day John by night you know Juan by day joe by night and and so we literally were budgeting that documentary where do we go about Amala Mexico City Philippines Bangalore and in the middle of that budget debate John Kerry came out with his blast against Benedict Arnold CEOs who engage in outsourcing because we just had the y2k thing outsourced he was just becoming a big issue so I came to The Times I said timeout why don't we do a documentary just called the other side of outsourcing explain this phenomena to people and I know none danila Connie had emphasis and I could go to Bangalore like that I just go ahead yeah um that was the days when people had money and so and so we went to Bangalore and we spent two weeks there and I had just come off really three years covering 9/11 and I'd read this book on globalization late 1990s and I spent two weeks in Bangalore and I realized I just kept walking around saying I don't understand the platform that's allowing this I saw people I met people ready to to trace my lost luggage on Delta Airlines from Bangalore read my x-rays from Bangalore do my taxes from Bangalore now this all seems now normal but back then it was like mind-blowing so the last interview was with Nandan Nilekani the CEO of emphasis on the yes our Microsoft of India and he had been out of the country there was two weeks and he just come back I went to his office at Electronic City and emphasis to see and we sat on the couch outside his office I had my laptop on my lap and um at one point he said Tom I got to tell you the global economic playing field is being leveled and you Americans are not ready oh I wrote that down in my little life the global economic playing field be left carefully you and Mary it's really did you Americans are not ready and I just really blew my mind yeah I mean it's sort of it connected a lot of things so I got done with the interview I got back of my Jeep to go back to my hotel and it's about an hour drive from Electronic City back to Bangalore and I'm thinking now the whole time what non dad said the global economic playing field is being leveled wow he's really saying the global economic playing field being flattened wow I think he just told me the world is flat yeah and so I wrote that in my notebook yeah the world is flat I got back to my hotel room I literally ran up to my room and I called my wife in Bethesda and said honey I'm gonna write a book called the world is flat she now says she thought that was a brilliant idea that is not exactly how I recall the conversation okay okay my wife okay but but I I did immediately came I got so excited about it was nan Dunn's 50th birthday party I never forget this and I was going back to his house for dinner he had a Simon and Garfunkel duo imitation duo he was so excited about the idea he'd always bangalore technique it was he Simon or Garfunkle he was using no no no just an imitation duo up that pass um and but he was so excited about it he wanted me to I thought was I literally had sketched out on the back of an envelope kind of the just rough crude outline of a book and he wanted me to present it at his birthday party to his bungalow he was so excited about it but I got home I called The Times I said I have to go and leave immediately my software is out of date I'm a basic engineer and it's a java world and if you don't give me a leave immediately I'm gonna write something really stupid in the New York Times because my software is a great way to get a leave so my software was out of date yeah and so they basically did they said go you know as soon as you can't say I want to leave in in July and that July I went I was invited to Allen conference in Sun Valley they've invited me a bunch and I I just never could work it out to go but and so then I had it really on the back of an envelope but it was more fleshed out and they asked me to make a presentation Bill Gates was in the audience and he heard it and he came up afterwards he had taken all these notes bill and you said that was that was really interesting and I said yeah no talking to me I told you something about you know I didn't know and he said oh no I knew all of that I just never put it together oh he's like a class-four yeah just like you said yeah he said I never you know connected all those things he said you're 90% there and I'm gonna help you with the last 10% interesting because that mentoring absolutely here as well but I mean that's was it the outsourcing craze people were scared everything's gonna go to India and China and it seems like we're kind of that post fear right now and it's true a lot of stuff is still going to that part of the world but if you look at the u.s. software engineer salaries continue to go through the roof yeah you mean here you you have more and more innovation is actually being focused in 20 miles around here we have a great American cut you know Tesla now I mean yeah how do we compare these two things the this this notion between the u.s. is losing his edge everything's being outsourced and it looks like more innovation is being focused in the u.s. now so let's go to what happened between 2004 and today yeah because I think that's the story that between 2004 and today something big happened call it flat world 2.0 I called the great inflection but there was a merger of globalization in the IT revolution they kind of merged in a way that more IT drove more globalization more globalization drove the expansion of RIT and they merged and so something really big happened so in my view we went from a connected world to a hyper-connected world and I believe it's changing everything and Khan Academy is now on that platform so you know the story I tell my son bite is that when I wrote the world is flat so when I wrote my last book which is about America which in 2011 the first thing I did was go back and get the first edition of the world is flat off my bookshelf yeah just to remind myself what I read and I took it off the shelf I opened up to the index looked under ABCDE if a facebook wasn't in it hmm so when I was running around the world saying the world's flat we're all connected yeah Facebook didn't exist Twitter was still a sound the cloud was still in the sky 4G was a parking place LinkedIn was a prison and applications went to college big data was a rap star and Skype was a typo okay I mean all of that happened after I wrote the world yeah you know so what does that tell you yeah it tells you we've gone from a connected world to a hyper-connected world so what are the features of that well the features of that is that more people now can compete connect collaborate and invent with more other people yeah in more different ways from more different places for less money than ever before right and it reached a difference of degree so that's a difference of kind that allows for Khan Academy yeah that for basically zero marginal costs you can now offer the greatest educational lessons to anyone you know in the world with a web enabled cell phone or Internet enabled computer well what's your sense of why I mean it's like the talent you know the offshoring fear was that all the software engineering jobs are gonna go to India what's your sense of why we see it we actually saw the opposite actually now we're suing finally a a an inflection point where software engineers are trying to become competitive with bankers and consultants and and and other types of people in terms of income and I mean what he thinks allowing for that despite the globalization phenomenon well you know the way I always like to explain it is that there isn't something called a lump of Labor right we've got it and oh you're gonna get it bring them back that's not how it works okay so the best way I could exploit least explain it when I talk about the world is flat is guess what not everything that needs to be invented has been invented right and the example I always give is your daughter goes off to college my daughter goes off to college and your kid goes off to come back after first semester and you say yeah so honey um what do you think I'm majoring what do you think you're gonna do she says dad I want to be a search engine optimizer when I grew up say what I sent you to college you couldn't be an ophthalmologist or an accountant what the hell is a search engine of course so here's an industry that came from zero to multi-billion dollars how do we optimize my website so if Sol's in the tennis shoe business and Tom's in the tennis shoe business when I put tennis shoes into Google Tom's tennis shoes comes up before solves tennis shoes it is now a multi-billion dollar industry that's a mash-up by the way between math and Madison Avenue's yeah so it brings together advertising people with with mathematicians whole new field for people with software or math degrees never existed before I and so Khan Academy the software around distributed online courses didn't exist ten years ago you know and so all these things keep getting invented but there's one constant it seems to me sell and that's every good job is either going out up or down faster than ever that is it every good job either requires more education to do or it can be done by more people computers or software yeah or it's being outsourced to the past yeah faster so every job is going in all three directions or maybe not more education in the formal sense if you know exactly more competence competence very good exactly one thing we know about search engine optimizer you needed to know more than you did you know to be a computer repair person you know and so but but what I think is exciting about this moment and again this all be I would argue enabled by the hyper connected platform is that once it becomes a competency game I can acquire those competencies in any way and that's what people don't appreciate about globalization either I always say globalization giveth and globalization taketh globalization just made the qualifications for this job higher and it just brought you Khan Academy where my daughter who was applying you know for graduate school can go to to get prepped for her GREs for free what she did she did told me exactly hope she got her money's worth she did money she got in visited here doing so so it's not it's doing boast at the same time and if you miss that if you think it's all bad or all good you don't get it and this arts or the debate around globalization to be that oh my god it's terrible it's gonna kill us it's gonna overwhelm us or it's wonderful it's great no it's disruptive it's creative destruction on steroids but the opportunities it's unleashing for all different kinds of people and so that my sort of overall summary of it is that we're going from a we're moving into a 401k world where everyone will have to pass the bar exam and no one will be able to escape the most email list so versus the pension world exactly so basically you were going from a world of defined benefits yes the tension world that's to defined contributions for 30 years I work for the New York Times I hated to find benefit every year really it didn't matter you know it was obviously tied to my performance in general but basically I got a define benefit from the New York time yeah now I get a defined contribution they'll give me X amount of money and I have to take responsibility for investing it wisely yeah so I think that's happening to the whole labor market we're going from a world of defined benefits where you kind of be protected by walls you go to college you're fine you're fine job exactly get that 4-year degree is it proxy exact for a key and the door of a job that's right okay no now it's we're in a world of defined contributions the great thing for all the people on Khan Academy is there's no ceiling anymore it ain't gonna matter in all my peers whether you went to Stanford you got those competencies on economy the ceiling is gone though it's really scary so are the floors and walls right you know and so we're going from a defined benefit world to a defined contribution world that's what the hyper-connectivity does second real global meritocracy oh absolutely anyone will be able to compete right second it's a world where and B can be what will enable that is we're moving to a world where everyone will have to pass the bar yeah that is in the old days we said you're three years at Stanford Law School oh well that may be 100 years we said going to law school was a proxy for knowing the law at some point the legal profession said no no we're gonna you're gonna go to law school but then you take the bar that says you actually know what you know that is coming I think to every industry yeah you want to get a job across three to Google I don't think you just show up this I have a BA and no they test you actually know what you know you know because you're Tony Wagner he says the world doesn't really care what you know because the Google machine knows everything okay the world only pays off on what you can do with what you know and we are now going to test that right so my motto is everyone's gonna have to pass the bar third we all are going to have our own most emailed machine so New York Times go to York times.com any day you know the most email columns changes every 15 minutes yeah any journalist who says they don't look at it is lying okay you always want to see where your story your column whatever did it go up the most human nature I think what's coming is a most email list is coming to a job near you because with big data so we had a story in the New York Times that Jamba Juice has technology it's installed it's in place where they can measure which employees sell the most juice on Fifth Avenue and 63rd Street at 80 degrees Wow between 8:00 and 10:00 in the morning and because they also divide their workday in 15-minute increments the employees who do that get the most overtime Wow they've got their most email lists now if you go to school loop calm in your world you can track your kids school assignment what he she or she you know whether she turned it in on time by the way whether he or she is tardy you know and you can the kids now have their most email list so yeah these are almost email lists that will connect to your performance and display it in real time and look it's all scary scary to me you know this well I mean some people would fear that okay this is gonna become very automatic very you know okay these things matter was how productive are you at Jamba Juice but what about what about the soft skills the the arts even and and the arts impact on society as a whole participation in democracy some of these things that don't translate into dollars at Jamba Juice so I think those are again more important than ever because what this world really enables if you are self-motivated person and you're living in a world of Khan Academy if you are self-motivated kid in in Khan Afghanistan and there's Khan Academy and I've got an internet connection you can suddenly you can go to the moon there's no you met do you think are the walls and ceilings that person lived within and so that is just really exciting if you are self-motivated if you are not self-motivated the walls and floors that protected you are gone and so I think the most important kind of leadership for a company and leadership in the end for teachers and for parents and for coaches is education that inspires those soft skills love of learning motivation they are gonna matter hugely in a world you more than ever saw because when everything is out there now for you for free if you access it you know and so and that's that's sort of one side of the soft skills but also it looks it's great to know math and physics and calculus and programming and you can't be creative without them but poetry music jazz sports collaboration all those things that inspire people to take the math and turn it into something of beauty of something will make people's lives more productive more healthy more entertained more caring that all comes from the other stuff so I think the pendulum swung pretty far to this way in terms of rigorous skill hard skills I think we need to make sure it we come back to the middle here and that we're blending when we say blended model we don't just mean teacher as a tutor more and a coach and all the online stuff taking care of the rest but blending also all these other things if I read between the lines we talked about these new industries the difference between the engineering jobs that are going to India the ones that are the salaries are increasing here is that it's it's fundamentally right brained Oh totally creative Madison Avenue absolutely you're not really in you got into this game by remediating y2k computer right now what's cool to me about what's going on in India a decade later is we're seeing so when I wrote about the world is flat in 2004 that was really based on Indian solving our problems yeah y2k now it's so exciting with this platform they're using these incredibly cheap tools of connectivity and collaboration and the cloud to solve their problems so if you look at what innovators in Mexico India are doing it's an explosion of innovation we've got a mil a billion more brains that potentially can be applied against the biggest problems of humanity and if that doesn't float your boat then there's something wrong with you now at the same time I understand the challenge and we should get them to figure out how we can solve the outsourcing problem well it's it's it's uh they might do that is don't put and I understand for a lot of people are scary if you're a 50 year old guy or gal in a declining industry and somebody comes to no problem you can yo you can thrive just go to Khan Academy yeah and take their lessons a huge sympathy for that but that's just so out of there they've been protected by a wall and a floor they didn't do this you know um you can use all my tax dollars you want to help those people and make a transition yeah what we shouldn't do is though is block the change yeah you know if horses could vote there never would have been cars all right it's always important to remember that and so if you if you try to stand in the way of the change I would be a fun party game if horses could code what would their blood what else what would not what would there be and what would there today I love the way your mind is oh it's up but it's because then you won't have the resources to take care of people but I have a huge sympathy for people caught in that transition and no one should ever mistake I get very excited talking about things I discovered disconnections I make but do not mistake my excitement for just I love the puzzle you know I mean wow that explains this and this explains that and people should know that that this is happening but don't don't confuse it for unsympathetic about all of this that I see the upside in the downside but it leaves me net worried in many ways Wow I'm gonna ask you one last question where are you going next you you hinted on it a little bit and I found that fascinating because you're doing two documentaries almost at the same time well it's one day it's the same documentary it's called climate change in the Arab Spring it's for the armed Showtime Channel it's part of a six-part climate series are gonna run next year burn a Yemen Sunday to look at Yemen the first country the world that will probably run out of water um you can go around sauna you see water trucks all over the place unfortunately the countries there's a big addiction to cut this to qat it's a drug I mean it's a plant that is a mild narcotic but it consumes a lot of water and somebody told me they were on a high level you know presidential visit or the reasons the president of their country the Secretary of State of their country and they went with the president um and somewhere in the pilot of the helicopter was chewing God yes kind of leave me a little worried get on American Airlines yeah their pilot pilot cot on the boy yeah but and then we're going to Syria because people don't realize Syria had a 10-year drought yeah worst drought in in their history Ron recorded history as the lead-up to this a million farmers and grazers had to leave the countryside moved to the cities put huge pressure on the infrastructure and it didn't cause the revolution there but it was one of the stresses that really helped contribute to it and we're going to Egypt because in 2010 in December 2010 there was a huge spike in global wheat prices because there was a drought in Australia there's a drought in Russia and there was a drought in China or flood what male uh D in Australia drought in China drought in Russia and as a result global wheat prices spiked in December 2010 the exact same time of the revolution Arab Spring yeah exactly Tunisia and Egypt then world food prices hit a record high the month of the Tunisian revolution Wow and remember the guy who started the revolution in Tunisia was a fruit seller well he was a vegetable seller excuse me and so these didn't cause the Arab Spring but they were huge stresses on the seller ated catalog and it shows you that you know why you should take climate change very seriously Wow well on that note fairly epic note yeah positive but this has been an acute honor I think for all of us at the trade fun for me thank you so much for coming real treats I'll thank you very much really appreciate it thank you [Applause]