FUTURE SHOCK THE THIRD WAVE

 

FOR HEIDI

 

Whose convincing arguments helped me decide to write The Third Wave. Her tough, tenacious criticism of my ideas and her professionalism as an editor are reflected on every page.

Her contributions to this book extend far beyond those one would expect of a colleague, an intellectual companion, a friend, lover and wife.

Did we come here to laugh or cry? Are we dying or being born? Terra Nostra by Carlos Fuentes

 

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

A COLLISION OF WAVES

1 / SUPER-STRUGGLE

The Revolutionary Premise The Leading Edge Waves of the Future Goldbugs and Assassins

 

THE SECOND WAVE

2 / THE ARCHITECTURE OF CIVILIZATION

The Violent Solution Living Batteries The Technological Womb The Vermilion Pagoda The Streamlined Family The Covert Curriculum Immortal Beings The Music Factory The Paper Blizzard

3 / THE INVISIBLE WEDGE

The Meaning of the Market The Sexual Split

4 / BREAKING THE CODE

Standardization Specialization Synchronization Concentration Maximization Centralization

 

CONTENTS

5 / THE TECHNICIANS OF POWER

The Integrators The Integrational Engine The Power Pyramids The Super-Elites

6 / THE HIDDEN BLUEPRINT Mechano-Mania

The Represento-Kit The Global Law Factory The Reassurance Ritual

7 / A FRENZY OF NATIONS

Changing Horses The Golden Spike

8 / THE IMPERIAL DRIVE

Gas Pumps in the Garden The Margarine Plantation Integration a VAmericain Socialist Imperialism

9 / INDUST-REALITY

The Progress Principle The Software of Time Repackaging Space The “Sjuff” of Reality The Ultimate Why

10 / CODA: THE FLASH FLOOD THE THIRD WAVE

11 / THE NEW SYNTHESIS

12 / THE COMMANDING HEIGHTS

The Sun and Beyond Tools of Tomorrow Machines in Orbit Into the Depths The Gene Industry The Techno-Rebels

13 / DE-MASSIFYING THE MEDIA

A Warehouse of Images The De-massified Media Blip Culture

 

CONTENTS

14 / THE INTELLIGENT ENVIRONMENT

Enhancing the Brain The Social Memory

15 / BEYOND MASS PRODUCTION

Mouse Milk and T-Shirts The Presto Effect

The Death of the Secretary?

16 / THE ELECTRONIC COTTAGE

Doing Homework The Telecommuters

The Home-Centered Society

17 / FAMILIES OF THE FUTURE

The Pro-Nuclear Campaign Non-Nuclear Life-Styles

The Child-free Culture “Hot” Relationships Love Plus

The Campaign for Child Labor The Electronic Expanded Family

Parental Malpractice Easing into Tomorrow

18 / THE CORPORATE IDENTITY CRISIS

Kabuki Currency

The Accelerative Economy The De-massified Society Redefining the Corporation A Pentagon of Pressures The Multipurpose Corporation Many Bottom Lines

19 / DECODING THE NEW RULES

The End of Nine-to-Five The Sleepless Gorgon Schedule-a-Friend Computers and Marijuana The Post-Standardized Mind The New Matrix Small-Within-Big Is Beautiful The Organization of the Future

20 / THE RISE OF THE PROSUMER

The Invisible Economy

 

CONTENTS

Overeaters and Widows The Do-It-Yourselfers Outsiders and Insiders Prosumer Life-Styles Third Wave Economics The End of Marketization

21 / THE MENTAL MAELSTROM

The New Image of Nature Designing Evolution The Progress Tree The Future of Time Space Travelers Wholism and Halfism The Cosmic Playroom The Termite Lesson

22 / THE CRACK-UP OF THE NATION

Abkhazians and lexicons From the Top Down The Global Corporation The Emerging “T-Net” Planetary Consciousness Myths and Inventions

23 / GANDHI WITH SATELLITES

The Second Wave Strategy The Broken Success Model The First Wave Strategy The Third Wave Question Sun, Shrimp, and Chips The Original Prosumers The Starting Line

24 / CODA: THE GREAT CONFLIJENCE

Tomorrow’s Basics

 

CONCLUSION

The Concept of Practopia The Wrong Question

25 / THE NEW PSYCHO-SPHERE

The Attack on Loneliness Telecommunity

The Heroin Structure

The Secret of the Cults Life-Organizers and Semi-Cults

 

CONTENTS

26 / THE PERSONALITY OF THE FUTURE

Growing Up Different The New Worker The Prosumer Ethic The Configurative Me

27 / THE POLITICAL MAUSOLEUM

The Black Hole

Private Armies

The Messiah Complex The World Web

The Inter-Weave Problem The Decisional Speedup The Collapse of Consensus The Decisional Implosion

28 / TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DEMOCRACY

Minority Power

Semi-Direct Democracy Decision Division The Expanding Elites The Coming Super-Struggle A Destiny to Create

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX INTRODUCTION

In a time when terrorists play death-games with hostages, as currencies careen amid rumors of a third World War, as embassies flame and storm troopers lace up their boots in many lands, we stare in horror at the headlines. The price of gold—that sensitive barometer of fear—breaks all records. Banks tremble. Inflation rages out of control. And the governments of the world are reduced to paralysis or imbecility.

Faced with all this, a massed chorus of Cassandras fills the air with doom-song. The proverbial man hi the street says the world has “gone mad,” while the expert points to all the trends leading toward catastrophe.

This book offers a sharply different view.

It contends that the world has not swerved into lunacy, and that, in fact, beneath the clatter and jangle of seemingly senseless events there lies a startling and potentially hopeful pattern. This book is about that pattern and that hope.

The Third Wave is for those who think the human story, far from ending, has only just begun.

A powerful tide is surging across much of the world today, creating a new, often bizarre, environment in which to work, play, marry, raise children, or retire. In this bewildering context, businessmen swim against highly erratic economic currents; politicians see their ratings bob wildly up and down; universities, hospitals, and other institutions battle desperately against inflation. Value systems splinter and crash, while the lifeboats of family, church, and state are hurled madly about.

Looking at these violent changes, we can regard them as isolated evidences of instability, breakdown, and disaster. Yet, if we stand back for a longer view, several things become apparent that otherwise go unnoticed.

 

 

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