What is your outlook?

Matt Bai: I’m pretty optimistic. You know I’m generally that way. I’m not . . . I’m not really an optimist by nature. I sweat out every game where the Yankees have a lead because I’m sure they’re gonna blow it in the eighth inning. So I can’t call myself a sunny, optimistic person. But when it comes to sort of the direction of the world and the country, I’m not cynical about that. I’m very optimistic about it. I mean I think the social, technological changes are gonna empower people in ways we haven’t imagined. And you know I mentioned this issue of people working at home. I think this is a really big deal. Before the industrial . . . the onset of the industrial age in the 20th century, people didn’t go to work. They worked . . . they lived above their store, or they farmed, and they were with their families. And they had like a really great quality of life if they were, you know . . . if they could sustain themselves. It wasn’t perfect, but you know I think we’re gonna enter a different era of what it means to work in America, what it means to live here. I don’t think people need to get in cars and spend hours of their time polluting the environment away from their families. Or sit around, you know, in a sterile office and hope that their boss doesn’t pop his head in; you know or the office joker doesn’t take up too much of their time, right? I mean I think . . . I think we’re gonna have a period in, you know, the next several decades where Americans can get much greater control over their lives; and much greater flexibility; and structure it the way they want; and feel like their work has value beyond, you know, having to dress up and show face time; but to feel like they’re respected individuals who can go run an errand if they need to, but who can also get their work done; who can put on jeans and come to work in their . . . in the morning if they want to. And I think that’s gonna be a great life for a lot of people, and I’m waiting for a government that gets it.

Recorded on: 12/13/07

 

Social and technological changes are going to empower people in ways we haven't imagined.

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