ALVIN TOFFLER REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH PDF

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When the shock wore off, said the Tofflers, who elaborated their case in "The Third Wave" and "Powershift" , we'd appreciate a richer, freer, groovier world. Now the Tofflers are again back from the near future. Their new book, "Revolutionary Wealth," builds on the framework of their previous writings, so there's a lot of talk about clashes among First Wave agrarian , Second Wave industrialized and Third Wave postindustrial, or "knowledge-based" societies.

They argue convincingly that we are on the verge of a post-scarcity world that will slash poverty and "unlock countless opportunities and new life trajectories," at least if we avoid the rapidly escalating risks to such progress. The Tofflers, whose penchant for neologisms remains unabated, spend much time discussing the booming "prosumer economy" which involves unpaid work that nevertheless greatly increases quality of life; for example, cooking a lavish meal for friends or much of open-source computer coding and fretting over "obsoledge" obsolete knowledge.

Terrorism, global warming and potential pandemics have done little to dampen their old optimism. We wouldn't live as long as we do. And, for better or worse, we wouldn't have more overweight people than undernourished people on earth — as we do. The titular wealth they speak of comes from substituting "ever-more-refined knowledge for the traditional factors of industrial production — land, labor and capital.

The Tofflers write that only 20 percent of the work force is now in the manufacturing sector, while some 56 percent and growing is engaged in what they call "knowledge work" — managerial, financial, sales-related, clerical and professional tasks. Even activities like agriculture have gone high-tech, through biotechnology and increasingly sophisticated use of global-positioning satellites to customize irrigation and fertilization down to the individual acre.

Knowledge-based wealth, they argue, is revolutionary not just because it gets more output from fewer inputs. Unlike such physical resources as oil, knowledge can be shared by an infinite number of people, and its value and benefits are generally increased by wider circulation.

A network, after all, is only as powerful as the number of participants. Just as important, the Third Wave wealth system "demassifies production, markets and society," creating space for unending experimentation, innovation and individuation. Forgive the Tofflers their diction, which sometimes reads like the linguistic equivalent of a shag rug.

Their schema helps to explain why air quality has improved in American cities over the past 30 years and why American culture has become remarkably more accepting of alternative lifestyles.

Yet they are not Panglossian. Any of these could slow or reverse today's generally positive trends. Despite visionary passages about nanotechnology the manipulation of objects at the atomic level and potential moon-based helium energy, "Revolutionary Wealth" is less interesting for its specifics most of which will be familiar to readers of publications like Wired, The Economist and Red Herring than for its evidence of how far we've come since the 70's, when politics, economics and culture all seemed as played out as Richard Nixon's denials of criminality.

In "Future Shock," the Tofflers warned that many people "will find it increasingly painful to keep up with the incessant demand for change that characterizes our time. For them, the future will have arrived too soon.

That's no small change, and it's one on which the Tofflers have been shining a light for years. Home Page World U.

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Archive: Alvin Toffler on Revolutionary Wealth

When the shock wore off, said the Tofflers, who elaborated their case in "The Third Wave" and "Powershift" , we'd appreciate a richer, freer, groovier world. Now the Tofflers are again back from the near future. Their new book, "Revolutionary Wealth," builds on the framework of their previous writings, so there's a lot of talk about clashes among First Wave agrarian , Second Wave industrialized and Third Wave postindustrial, or "knowledge-based" societies. They argue convincingly that we are on the verge of a post-scarcity world that will slash poverty and "unlock countless opportunities and new life trajectories," at least if we avoid the rapidly escalating risks to such progress. The Tofflers, whose penchant for neologisms remains unabated, spend much time discussing the booming "prosumer economy" which involves unpaid work that nevertheless greatly increases quality of life; for example, cooking a lavish meal for friends or much of open-source computer coding and fretting over "obsoledge" obsolete knowledge. Terrorism, global warming and potential pandemics have done little to dampen their old optimism.

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The Future Is Now

The most signficant part of this book, for me, was the concept of wealth systems. The Tofflers characterize human history as falling into three major wealth systems: Agricultural, Industrial and Revolutionary Wealth. Alvin Toffler , Heidi Toffler. Since the mids, Alvin and Heidi Toffler have predicted the far-reaching impact of emerging technological, economic, and social developments on our businesses, governments, families, and daily lives. As the knowledge-based economy a reality the Tofflers predicted forty years ago continues to replace the industrial-based economy, they argue, money is no longer the sole determinate of wealth.

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