Future Shock

Alvin Toffler

About the book

Future Shock is a 1970 book by the futurist Alvin Toffler, in which the author defines the term "future shock" as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. The shortest definition for the term in the book is a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time". 

Alvin Toffler argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people. He argues that the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaves people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation"—future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock he popularized the term "information overload."

Next to Third Wave, Future Shock became the authoritative books for Detroit techno. Let's repeat: The book describes a society going through an enormous change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people, the accelerated pace of technological and social change decouples them and they suffer from grueling stress and disorientation - they are shocked by the future. Sounds like Detroit, doesn't it? No wonder music pioneer Juan Atkins cites Toffler's phrase "techno rebels" as inspiring him to use the word "techno" to describe the musical style he helped to create.

 

ISBN: 978-0-553-27737-1

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