Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Toffler, Alvin (1990), Future Shock, Random House LLC, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
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  • Folksonomies: social science

    Memes

    19 DEC 2013

     Specialization is Differentiation

    The proliferation of subcults is most evident in the world of work. Many subcults spring up around occupational specialties. Thus, as the society moves toward greater specialization, it generates more and more subcultural variety. The scientific community, for example, is splitting into finer and finer fragments. It is criss-crossed with formal organizations and associations whose specialized journals, conferences and meetings are rapidly multiplying in number. But these "open" distinctions ...
      1  notes

    Toffler explores the phenomenon of specialization in the sciences, producing subcults and subsubcults.

    20 DEC 2013

     It is Impossible to Keep Up with New Knowledge

    No man's model of reality is a purely personal product. While some of his images are based on firsthand observation, an increasing proportion of them today are based on messages beamed to us by the mass media and the people around us. Thus the degree of accuracy in his model to some extent reflects the general level of knowledge in society. And as experience and scientific research pump more refined and accurate knowledge into society, new concepts, new ways of thinking, supersede, contradict...
      1  notes

    The growth of knowledge is too fast for anyone to keep on top of it, even in specialized fields. Is the solution for everyone to become generalists?

    20 DEC 2013

     Professional Parents

    If a smaller number of families raise children, however, why do the children have to be their own? Why not a system under which "professional parents" take on the childrearing function for others? Raising children, after all, requires skills that are by no means universal. We don't let "just anyone" perform brain surgery or, for that matter, sell stocks and bonds. Even the lowest ranking civil servant is required to pass tests proving competence. Yet we allow virtually anyone, almost without...
      1  notes

    The idea that we should have people who work as parents because they are good at it, like we have with day-cares.

    20 DEC 2013

     The Explosion of Sub-Cults

    The techno-societies, far from being drab and homogenized, are honeycombed with just such colorful groupings—hippies and hot rodders, theosophists and flying saucer fans, skindivers and skydivers, homosexuals, computerniks, vegetarians, bodybuilders and Black Muslims. Today the hammerblows of the super-industrial revolution are literally splintering the society. We are multiplying these social enclaves, tribes and minicults among us almost as fast as we are multiplying automotive options. ...
      1  notes

    We can see this phenomenon in online cultures, but I like how this passage ties it into the issue of personal identity. The cults/fandoms we choose are also a choice about how we are defining ourselves.

    20 DEC 2013

     The Death of Technocracy

    What we are witnessing is the beginning of the final breakup of industrialism and, with it, the collapse of technocratic planning. By technocratic planning, I do not mean only the centralized national planning that has, until recently, characterized the USSR, but also the less formal, more dispersed attempts at systematic change management that occur in all the high technology nations, regardless of their political persuasion. Michael Harrington, the socialist critic, arguing that we have rej...
      1  notes

    This is not a dichotomy--there can be degrees of planning and emergence--but the problems with technocracy are true challenges.

    20 DEC 2013

     Meaning of Life in Super-Industrial Society

    Technocrats suffer from econo-think. Except during war and dire emergency, they start from the premise that even non-economic problems can be solved with economic remedies. Social futurism challenges this root assumption of both Marxist and Keynesian managers. In its historical time and place, industrial society's single-minded pursuit of material progress served the human race well. As we hurtle toward super-industrialism, however, a new ethos emerges in which other goals begin to gain pari...
    Folksonomies: technocracy planning
    Folksonomies: technocracy planning
      1  notes

    Technocrats look at the world purely in terms of economics, but post-modern society looks for other meanings.

    20 DEC 2013

     The Revolt Against Science

    One response to the loss of control, for example, is a revulsion against intelligence. Science first gave man a sense of mastery over his environment, and hence over the future. By making the future seem malleable, instead of immutable, it shattered the opiate religions that preached passivity and mysticism. Today, mounting evidence that society is out of control breeds disillusionment with science. In consequence, we witness a garish revival of mysticism. Suddenly astrology is the rage. Zen,...
      1  notes

    Nostalgia and pseudo-science are a revolt against what they perceive as the strict rules of science and central planning, but the lack of rules and planning results in putting people at the whims of chaos, which is even more limiting.

    20 DEC 2013

     Social Fragmentation is Freedom

    Urbanism—the city dweller's way of life—has preoccupied sociology since the turn of the century. Max Weber pointed out the obvious fact that people in cities cannot know all their neighbors as intimately as it was possible for them to do in small communities. Georg Simmel carried this idea one step further when he declared, rather quaintly, that if the urban individual reacted emotionally to each and every person with whom he came into contact, or cluttered his mind with information about...
      1  notes

    People lament the watering-down of interpersonal relationships in social networks, but total relationships--with all their faults and positives--restrict our freedoms and overwhelm us.

    19 DEC 2013

     Accelerating Knowledge

    The rate at which man has been storing up useful knowledge about himself and the universe has been spiraling upward for 10,000 years. The rate took a sharp upward leap with the invention of writing, but even so it remained painfully slow over centuries of time. The next great leap forward in knowledge—acquisition did not occur until the invention of movable type in the fifteenth century by Gutenberg and others. Prior to 1500, by the most optimistic estimates, Europe was producing books at a...
      1  notes

    Toffler describes and quantifies the increasing production of information in human civilization and its implications.

    14 DEC 2017

     The 800th Lifetime

    It has been observed that if the last 50,000 years of man's existence were divided into lifetimes of approximately 62 years each, there have been 800 such lifetimes. Of the 800, fully 650 were spent in caves. Only during the last seventy lifetimes has it become possible to communicate effectively from one lifetime to another- as writing made it possible to do. Only during the last six lifetimes did masses of men ever see a printed word. Only during the last four has it been possible to measu...
      1  notes