- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 18 hours and 53 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 Feb. 2019
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B07NPRFSYM
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Third Wave Audiobook – Unabridged
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I only have room for 9,000 books so I have to be very selective of what to keep and Toffler made the keep list under social change.
I know “Future Shock” (1970) by heart, as it was part of a class I was taking at the time. His other books sort of a blur as to where one stopped and the other started. So, it is re-read time.
It is amazing to see how many people including political leaders are still living in the past even today as they were covered in the late 70’s in “The Third Wave” (1980.)
A quote from the introduction “Author and reader never see quite the same things as in a book. I view “the third wave” as radical different from “Future Shock” in both form and focus. To begin with, it covers a much wider sweep of time-passed as well as future. It is more perceptive. Its architecture is different. (The prospective reader will find that its structure mirrors a central metaphor - the clash of waves.)
Although the book is worth reading from front cover to back cover, my favorite section of focus is “Tools of Tomorrow” underneath “The Commanding Heights.” This shows how classic industries of the Second Wave such as steel, coal, etc. are leaving first world countries like the US. If we ever see those industries returning, they will be part of a higher technical world and not labor-intensive as they used to be. As in this book written in 1980, we still see archaic governments trying to recapture the second wave.
This book not only points out the future which is really the past but also helps one cope with the present which in this book was the future.
So, you will want to go back read this book, and it too will probably become part of you to keep library.
Particularly impressive in retrospect is the description of a forecast for mass customized products. The customer "will become so integrated into the production process that we find it . . . difficult to tell . . . who is the producer." One might be reading about someone ordering a computer on the Dell Web site.
Almost equally impressive is the appreciation of how electronic connections will establish horizontal connections.
Key insights related to:
(1) Companies needing to take on full responsibility for the consequences of their actions on society and the environment;
(2) Companies becoming much more important social institutions of change;
(3) Information moving to the center of major decisions;
(4) Government spreading its influence so that business and politics become inextricably entwined; and
(5) Institutional ethics coming to more closely reflect social ethics.
In fact, this is the first book I have located that sees the business organization as the critical institution in making ecological, moral, political, racial, sexual and social change, as well as the usual transactional ones.
The fundamental vision of humanity as seeking a more appropriate civilization that is built around individual choice in coordinating social interests is a remarkably accurate description of the evolution of the free market democracies over the last 20 years.
Realizing how hard it is to forecast anything, one comes away with a remarkable appreciation for Alvin Toffler's fundamental estimation of human potential. He took that understanding, tied technology to it, and found the answer quite well.
After enjoying this remarkable book (for the first time or) again, I encourage you to consider how these same human characteristics will take us forward in the future. How can you facilitate this felicitous development?
Make your actions and those you cooperate in serve everyone's best interests!