I read Future Shock by Alvin and Heidi Toffler in the 1990s, twenty years after its publication in 1970, and it was still entirely relevant then. I expect another twenty years removed from its original publication will find it no less relevant.
The Toffler’s central premise is that the pace of technological change is inducing a psychological state they call Future Shock, similar to the disorientation people experience when visiting another culture, commonly known as culture shock. They argue that society has given little thought to deliberately managing our future and how individuals deal with change.
This 1972 documentary based on the Toffler’s book is narrated by Orson Welles and strikes a decidedly alarming tone and is much more paranoid than I remember the book to be. It does, nevertheless, present many of the Tofflers ideas and observations for those of you too lazy to read the book. 😉
More importantly, for my purposes anyway, the book and the subsequent expansions on their themes in other books, helped train me for how to think about the future and how to recognize factors and trends that might shape the future. It’s also fairly amusing as a piece of cultural history. Found at YouTube from invasive.
- Future Shock: We Are Living In Exponential Times
- Electronic Pop-Up Books
- Where Good Ideas Come From
- Generations: The History Of America’s Future