Alvin Toffler - The Third Wave - 1980
Alvin Toffler publishes The Third Wave (1980), to herald in the new culture based on information. The central premise of Toffler's book is that human history, while being complex and contradictory, can be seen to fit patterns or what he calls three waves that describe the changes of civilization:
- Agricultural Society - the First Wave, that started in 2,000 B.C.
- Industrial Society - the Second Wave, starting in 1750 A.D.
- Information Society - the Third Wave, starting in1950 A.D.
He postulates that the transition from an: industrial society to an information society can best be understood by looking back to the transition from the agricultural society to the industrial society.
The Three Waves
We started off as hunter-gatherers — nomads. We hunted our food and moved as the seasons to find food. Then, the First Wave began:
- The First Wave: People stayed in one place and developed a sense of cyclical times, it that it repeated itself with cycles of moons, crops, and seasons. Everyone worked on the farm and people were generalists that were able to do many things.
- The Second Wave: Our tools progressed and we produced ships, railroads, and automobiles. To build all this, we invested in expensive equipment and people (labor).
- The Third Wave: The industrial society brought huge companies and military organizations that needed to track what they had, what they were doing, and what they were spending. Information became abundant.
This Information Society is more than just technology. It includes social, cultural, institutional, moral, and political dislocations during our transition from a brute force industry society to a brain force economy.
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