Our protagonist approaches self-awareness

The point of the column 20 Friedman units ago is that the driver who picked up Thomas L. Friedman at the airport in Paris was on the phone the whole time and didn’t talk to him. Not only is technology flattening the world, but it is tearing us apart, even as it makes life more difficult for overrated columnists for the New York Times.

“It’s a pity. He was a young, French-speaking African, who probably had a lot to tell me. When I related all this to my friend Alain Frachon, an editor at Le Monde, he quipped: ‘I guess the era of foreign correspondents quoting taxi drivers is over. The taxi driver is now too busy to give you a quote!’

“Alain is right. You know the old story, ‘As my Parisian taxi driver said to me about the French elections.’ Well, you can forget about reading columns starting that way anymore. My driver was too busy to say hello, let alone opine on politics.”

Friedman, Thomas L. 2006. “The Taxi Driver.” The New York Times. November 1: A23.

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