The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives

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9780875848068: The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives

Geography, borders, time zones--all are rapidly becoming irrelevant to the way we conduct our business and personal lives, courtesy of the communications revolution. According to renowned Economist journalist Frances Cairncross, this "death of distance" will be the single most important economic force shaping all of society over the next half century. In her remarkably prophetic new book, Cairncross provides a trendspotter's guide to thriving in the new millennium. Friends, colleagues, and customers could easily be anywhere--around the corner or around the world--and the new ways of communicating will effectively wipe out distance as a cost factor, indeed as a perceptible concept from our lives. Cairncross helps us to recognize the patterns and seize the opportunities in these early days of the death of distance. She describes the ways, now only dimly imaginable, that telecommunications and our altered perception of distance will transform relationships between countries and citizens, companies and employees, parents and children. Cairncross writes eloquently and convincingly about the cataclysmic changes sweeping across communications, and about the ways those consequences will tilt the balance between large and small, rich and poor, as they influence where companies locate, what kind of work people do, how governments raise revenue, which businesses succeed, how cities develop, and more. Among the most striking trends: --A flourishing market for citizens. Greater freedom to locate anywhere and earn a living will hinder taxation, forcing countries to bid down tax rates to attract high-income earners and profitable companies. --The strengthening of communities of culture.Electronic communications will reinforce less widespread languages and cultures, not replace them. --The continuing rise of the English language. The global role of English as a second language will strengthen as it becomes the standard for communicating in business and commerce. --The emergence of a three-shift world. Time zones will matter more than distance in determining where companies locate. --The growing inversion of home and office. As more people work from home or from purpose-built small offices, the line between work and home life will blur. --The new irrelevance of size. Small companies will be able to offer services that once only giants could provide. With examples from every corner of the globe, this book is journalism at its best: at once a sharp, perceptive biography of the communications industry and an eye-opening look at life after distance, for us and generations to come. A New York Times Business Bestseller "A very good book.... Fascinating reading....[Cairncross] is undoubtedly right about many of the broad trends she discerns..."--David Warsh, The Boston Globe "A book like this is worth any two from Faith Popcorn or John Naisbitt...the book is more successful than most futurist tomes in enumerating the possible influence of technology on commercial society...highly recommended, especially for anyone interested in marketing and global markets."--Upside "The Death of Distance is provocatively informative, well-written and great fun to read. If you are interested in where technology will be taking you and your business, give Cairncross' book a try."--Atlanta Business Chronicle "Cairncross manages to distill into a single readable volume almost all thecurrent thinking on the subject."--Financial Times "Cairncross accurately describes why the Internet is so important, how it will challenge today's concepts of the telephone and television-and how it will be the catalyst for carrying out most of her predictions."--The Washington Post Book World "Light on jargon, this perceptive, easy-to-read book is highly recommended for a broad audience."--Booklist "An eloquent, jargon-free exploration of the communications revolution.... Well-researched and convincing, The Death of Distance will make the most technophobic among us confident about the changes ahead."--Soundview Executive Book Summaries "Useful insights into how companies should be planning for the new economic realities."--Electronic Business "The Death of Distance is a terrific book. Cairncross brings an easy-to-read style, a historical perspective, and cogent research and analysis to the communications, media, and computer industries. Whether discussing the monopolistic nature of these businesses or the effect of new media on U.S. and world economies, or on democracy itself, she covers her topics thoroughly." --Michael R. Bloomberg, CEO and Founder, Bloomberg L. P.

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Review:

From the advent of electronic communications, there's been talk about how the world has been shrinking. Frances Cairncross, senior editor for the Economist, makes her case from an economical standpoint: The growing ease and speed of communication is creating a world where the miles have little to do with our ability to work or interact together. Cairncross predicts that it won't be long before people organize globally on the basis of language and three basic time shifts--one for the Americas, one for Europe, and one for East Asia and Australia. Much work that can be done on a computer can be done from anywhere. Workers can code software in one part of the world and pass it to a company hundreds of miles away that will assemble the code for marketing. And with workers able to earn a living from anywhere, countries may find themselves competing for citizens as people relocate for reasons ranging from lower taxes to nicer weather. Cairncross discusses about 30 major changes likely to result from these trends, including greater self-policing of businesses, an unavoidable loss of personal privacy, and a diminishing need for countries to want emigration.

From the Publisher:

A New York Times Business Bestseller

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Cairncross, Frances
Editorial: Harvard Business Review Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0875848060 ISBN 13: 9780875848068
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Frances Cairncross
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Frances Cairncross
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