Book review : FUTURE SHOCK

January 07, 2019




GENRE: Guide, Social Economics

AUTHOR: Alvin Toffler     

PAGES: 286                                        


FOLLOWED BY: The Third Wave, Powershift, Creating A New Civilization

RELATED BOOKS: SmartMobs, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Cyberia


SUMMARY of Future Shock

Future Shock is about what happens when people are exposed to change. It is about the ways in which people adapt or fail to adapt to the future. It argues, unless people quickly learn to control the rate of change in his personal, professional & social affairs at a large scale, they are doomed to a massive adaptive breakdown. The initial phase of the book describes the "Death of Permanence". Our generation is witnessing a massive bombardment of change in a very short span to mentally orient. Staring from the things we use, place we live, people surrounding us, and so on, everything in transit. The rate of progress suddenly paced compared to our forty thousand years of existence. With the increase in the transience of commodities and lifestyle, it is getting reflected at the social front as well. The duration of human relations is reducing. We are configuring ourselves to a modular approach to deal with changes. An example of a fountain pen versus ball pen was put forward to make readers understand what is modularity, better to be called throw away society. 
Further, the book discusses "Novelty". The scientific trajectory of our civilization, where microbiology & genetics will take the wheel in the future. So, the next course of change will be internal. Transit organs, aqua-farming, personalized offspring’s, parenting will witness 180-degree swing and much more sci-fi stuff. In this section, Alvin talked about what triggers people to welcome change. What happens when something in our environment is altered? All of us are constantly bathed in a shower of signals from our environment—visual, auditory, tactile, etc.  When something changes within the range of our senses, the pattern of signals pouring through our sensory channels into our nervous system is modified. The routine, repetitive patterns are interrupted—and to this interruption, we respond in a particularly acute fashion.
The final part is "Recommendations" It described the biological limitations of humans coping with change. How to respond to novelty and adaptive reactions. Structuring of an educational institution for the future. It also discussed how culture and technology can go together.

REVIEW of Future Shock

I was amazed, this book was written in the 1970s makes so much sense today. People keep on chanting "change" & "being agile or you will perish" kind of stuff. It sounds vague as their arguments remain unidimensional. Future Shock is able to cover all the aspects of humanity undergoing the roller coaster of alterations. It is so fun to read a reader can relate his life, the transition he witnessed around him from childhood to the present. The part where my eyes got big was our future. The writer took today's practice and predicted our coming time. It was so convincing as if you are actually a part of it. Sometime readers may feel if the content is getting repeated but patience is the key because every chapter is a completely new dimension relating to other things. This book will you give extreme clarity about what is currently happening around & how to deal with it. I am literally forcing my close one to read this book and looking forward to reading other books by Alvin Toffler.


  1. Hi dear reviewer
    Very nice to make u understand this book that what kind of pace world is taking to change in life style. Indeed it is so fast. If u ask me truly in this decade it is faster which normal defeat the nature and environment as well. Development of science like Microbiology, Ninography and studying on molecules showing much pace in study. No doubt modernisation developed the needs.
    Book's author Mr Alvin Toffler really emphasis in 70's for about future. Good show in relecting your view.

    1. Rightly said, this disruptive change is trigged by few people. And the results are just dumped to mass. They have no idea how to deal with it, causing chaos.

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  3. 'Change is the only constant' 'परिवर्तन संसार का नियम है' has been a constant theme in human philosophy and this book captures the essence. While technology has led to rapid change in one's way of life, change does good only where it is warranted by human need. The changes brought by technology in today's times mostly do not fall in the category and that is why scholars sometines see technology as a horse on which we ride, and on which we have lost control. Have we ever heard of humanity deciding to roll back a technology bcoz it does more harm than good? But ppl have started becoming aware of the of the flip side and regulation on use is witnessed. Next gen technology like AI, hopefully, should evolve while preserving the basic human need of physical, socual and even spiritual growth.


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