Alvin Toffler, "The Shockwave Rider" and me

I am finally, after more than thirty years, going to get to meet one of the most important influences on my thinking, Alvin Toffler. Like most of the world, in 1970, I read Future Shock. I was just entering college, and it was not only a trendy book to read, but it was also a very important look at what the future might hold. Then, in 1975, an English science fiction writer named John Brunner wrote a novel based on the world that Future Shock might look like-- The Shockwave Rider. This novel still reads well today, and it is astounding in its ability to predict what the future might be like, just like Future Shock and the rest of Alvin and Heidi Toffler's oeuvre has been. One of the most prescient creations in the novel was the computer worm. Brunner described its operation pretty much exactly as they work today. Toffler has been more right than wrong in his predictions, which is about what a good futurist can hope for. Of all futurists, only Robert A. Heinlein, the go-daddy big ur-futurist of them all has a higher prediction batting average. Toffler, and Brunner, both gave me a profession...one that I've been working on ever since...I have always wanted to be an "encyclopedic generalist" which is what Brunner called a futurist, and pretty much, now I are one. So now I have to go figure out what to say to an idol of more than thirty years that doesn't come out, "Bbbbbdaaaaaadaaaaabadaaaaah! Mumpf!"

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