Back to the future: Surviving the pace of change
Keywords:Society, knowledge change
AbstractMy father spent his career as a social science instructor at a rural community college in Michigan, where he is a locally recognized orator on the subject of society, culture, and the future. As a growing student, I was often enlisted in dinner table trivia quizzes that included inquiries, such as “what percentage of the Gross National Product do you think the U.S. grants in foreign aid?” (a mere one-tenth of 1%, he would instruct, rendering my guess at least 1000% too high), and where—on an imaginary chronological continuum that stretched the table length—I thought humans appeared on the planet? (I was typically about two feet off the mark). I clearly recollect his lecture notes on the book reviews of
Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock (1970), which described many cultural and societal changes that we could expect in the next 20 years. My father’s lectures forecasted our life at the turn of the century with astonishing accuracy.
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