Future Shock



This 1972 documentary is the greatest 42 minutes ever captured on film in regards to the Atomic Age and the all-encompassing paranoia surrounding it. The fact that I haven’t seen this film yet is both surprising and depressing, as it captures the Atompunk concepts so exactly that it blows my mind. The graininess of the film stock, Orson Welles’ dramatic narration, the synthesized score and bad titles are everything that this blog is dedicated to preserving.

Copy and pasting is so much easier than paraphrasing, Wikipedia:

Future Shock is a book written by the sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. It grew out of an article “The Future as a Way of Life” in Horizon magazine, Summer 1965 issue.[1][2][3][4] The book has sold over 6 million copies and has been widely translated.
In the book, Toffler defines the term “future shock” as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. His shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time”.
A documentary film based on the book was released in 1972 with Orson Welles as on-screen narrator.

Toffler argues that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a “super-industrial society”. This change will overwhelm people, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving them disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation” – future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems were symptoms of the future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock, he also popularized the term “information overload.”
His analysis of that phenomenon is continued in his later publications, especially The Third Wave and Powershift.

What makes this even better is that it doesn’t take much to understand where the author and writers were coming from on these subjects, and, moreover, that the concepts in this film and book still have precedent 40 years later.

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~ by arielviews on January 13, 2011.

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