Summary of Present Shock

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Present Shock book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Decades ago, futurist Alvin Toffler said change would accelerate so fast that people would experience “future shock.” Tech expert Douglas Rushkoff believes today’s problem is “present shock.” Phones beep constantly with tweets and text alerts that are immediately outdated. Firms make decisions based on short-term gains. Rushkoff argues that today’s world can learn from the ancient Greeks, who thought of time both qualitatively and quantitatively. His writing is fresh, often funny and always thought provoking, though some of the terms he coins (like “digiphrenia” or “fractalnoia”) may be tongue twisters. He makes a compelling case that people should control technology, not the other way around. getAbstract recommends his insights to those who want to control their time and their technology, and to investors, communicators, executives and futurists.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “future shock” turned into “present shock,”
  • How disconnection from the past and future brings stress and anxiety into the “now,” and
  • How to regain control over your time.

About the Author

Douglas Rushkoff wrote Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc. and 10 other books, as well as PBS documentaries such as Digital Nation. He lectures on technology and change.



Farewell to the Future
People in the final decades of the 20th century anticipated the future. A new millennium was coming, technology was changing and economies were growing. Change itself was accelerating – which prompted futurist Alvin Toffler in 1965 to warn that people would fail ...

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    Dynamic Dylan 3 years ago
    Deep insights---read slowly and learn ways to look at time management training at a subconscious level. Brilliant summary. Thanks. Dynamic Dylan @ Mekong Train

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