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Alvin Toffler Saw The Future Before It Arrived

Alvin Toffler, the noted futurist, passed away last week. He was 87. Toffler saw it all before it happened. Through his seminal books, Future Shock (1970) and The Third Wave, (1980)  he accurately predicted the trajectory technology and society would take -- from centralized, mass industrial institutions to de-centralized, "de-massified," customized niches and networks. He saw that knowledge would replace labor and capital as the key driver of wealth creation and called this new era The Information Age. And he worried that the accelerated pace of change could well overwhelm us and precipitate "wave conflict" between different speeds of change. In short, he got the big picture right.

If what he said in the 1970s and 1980s turned out to be right by the first decades of the 21st century, are his prognostications from 2006 about the times ahead panning out now? I interviewed him then about his last book, Revolutionary Wealth, written with his wife and muse Heidi. Below are excepts of that interview in which Toffler talked about the "outside brain" of big data, how companies "outsource labor" to the consumer, desktop manufacturing and the unworkability of the European Union, among other topics.

iPods, cloning, outsourcing, Googling. All these disparate changes and breakthroughs are not only transforming our lives; you argue they are converging into "a new wealth system." How is this new system a departure from the economics we're familiar with? In two ways: First, knowledge is now the key driver of wealth creation, and, second, the radical fusion of production and consumption will lead to the explosion of the "non-money" economy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jul 11th, 2016 at 03:11:41 AM EST
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