Futurist Alvin Toffler, Author of ‘Future Shock,’ Dies at 87 

He died in his sleep, late on Monday night, at his home in Los Angeles.

2 min read
Toffler died in his sleep at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles on Monday (Photo: AP)

Alvin Toffler, a guru of the post-industrial age whose books, which include Future Shock, anticipated the disruptions and transformations brought about by the rise of digital technology, has died. He was 87.

He died late on Monday in his sleep at his home in the Bel Air neighbourhood of Los Angeles, said Yvonne Merkel, a spokeswoman for his Reston, Virginia-based consulting firm, Toffler Associates.

One of the world’s most famous futurists, Toffler was far from alone in seeing the economy shift from manufacturing and mass production to a computerised and information-based model.

But few were more effective at popularising the concept, predicting the effects and assuring the public that the traumatic upheavals of modern times were part of a larger and more hopeful story.

(Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://shakenvac.com/future-shock-alvin-toffler.html">shakenvac.com</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: shakenvac.com)

Future Shock, a term he first used in a 1965 magazine article, was how Toffler defined the growing feeling of anxiety brought on by the sense that life was changing at a bewildering and ever-accelerating pace. His book combined an understanding tone and page-turning urgency as he diagnosed contemporary trends and headlines, from war protests to the rising divorce rate, as symptoms of a historical cycle overturning every facet of life.

We must search out totally new ways to anchor ourselves, for all the old roots –religion, nation, community, family, or profession are now shaking under the hurricane impact of the accelerative thrust.
Alvin Toffler wrote in his book

Toffler offered a wide range of predictions and prescriptions, some more accurate than others. He forecast “a new frontier spirit” that could well lead to underwater communities, “artificial cities beneath the waves,” and also anticipated the founding of space colonies.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

(With AP inputs)

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