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After Shock

After Shock

Alvin Toffler
Image credit: The New York Times, Bettmann

Fifty years ago, the book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler was an international bestseller, purporting that the fast-paced rate of change in societies was leaving people overwhelmed. From disposable everything and planned obsolescence to frequent changes in jobs and professions, Toffler’s theory was that many people would be paralyzed by the rapid pace of technological change and its impact on society.

Today, futurists and experts take a look back on the past 50 years of Future Shock and think forward to the next 50 years in the new book, After Shock. Bill Diamond, President, and CEO of the SETI Institute is one of the contributors. “The impact of future shock on human behavior has perhaps been less dire than Toffler suggested it might be, possibly serving as testimony to our adaptability and resilience as a species,” wrote Diamond. “But there are clearly some cracks in the foundation.”

More than 100 luminaries, including David Brin, Po Bronson, Sanjiv Chopra, George Gilder, Newt Gingrich, Alan Kay, Ray Kurzweil, Jane McGonigal, Lord Martin Rees, Byron Reese, share their thoughts and insights. After Shock will be available on February 4, 2020, with preorders available now.

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