Alvin Toffler

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Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler (October 3, 1928June 27, 2016) was an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communications revolution, corporate revolution and technological singularity. A former associate editor of Fortune magazine, his early work focused on technology and its impact (through effects like information overload). His later focus was on the increasing power of 21st century military hardware, weapons and technology proliferation, and capitalism.


  • Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.
  • If industrialism, with its faster pace of life, has accelerated the family cycle, super-industrialism now threatens to smash it altogether.
  • Man remains in the end what he started as in the beginning: a biosystem with a limited capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the consequence is future shock.
    • Future Shock (1970), ch. 15
  • By instructing students how to learn, unlearn and relearn, a powerful new dimension can be added to education.
    • Future Shock (1970), ch. 18
  • Freedom of expression is no longer a political nicety, but a precondition for economic competitiveness.
    • 1997 interview with John Perry Barlow, as reported on Twitter
  • …the sudden rise of a religious movement in the West that restricts the eating of beef and thereby saves billions of tons of grain and provides a nourishing diet for the world as a whole.
    • The Eco-Spasm Report (1975). Quoted in The Higher Taste, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1983, p. 13


  • Tomorrow's illiterate will not be the man who can't read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.
    • Psychologist Herbert Gerjuoy as quoted by Alvin Toffler in Future Shock (1970), ch. 18, p. 414

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