R.I.P. Alvin Toffler

One of the books that most influenced the direction of my life was Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. Alvin died June 27, 2016.

I read Future Shock in 1979, when I was a young man. The primary premise was to describe the condition of people and entire societies when they are stressed by rapid change. He called this condition future shock. He also popularized the term, “information overload.”

Toffler wrote about how rapid technological advances would change the way we work. And I was able in small ways to take advantage of that information. I was an early adopter of office automation tools, the first spreadsheet program VisiCalc, and early CRM and CAD programs. I was also heavily influenced by Toffler’s theories on how societies are formed, and how societies are manipulated by their lingering tribal instincts.

I think what I most admired about Alvin Toffler is how he collaborated with his spouse Heidi Toffler. While she was not named as a co-author on Future Shock, they wrote many books together, and I suspect that she was integral to its success and completion. Early in my relationship with my wife, I told her how Alvin and Heidi Toffler’s books had affected my life. I wanted her to know how lucky I feel to have someone in my life to share my thoughts with and to collaborate with on a variety of projects and ideas. Much of what I write today is to some degree a collaboration with her.

Thank you Alvin and Heidi for inspiring not only us, but people worldwide.