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Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century

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In Powershift, Alvin Toffler brings to a climax the ideas set forth in his previous works to offer a stunning vision of the future that will change your life. In Powershift, Toffler argues that while headlines focus on shifts of power at the global level, equally significant shifts are taking place in the everyday world we all inhabit - the world of supermarkets and hospita In Powershift, Alvin Toffler brings to a climax the ideas set forth in his previous works to offer a stunning vision of the future that will change your life. In Powershift, Toffler argues that while headlines focus on shifts of power at the global level, equally significant shifts are taking place in the everyday world we all inhabit - the world of supermarkets and hospitals, banks and business offices, television and telephones, politics and personal life. The very nature of power is changing under your eyes.


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In Powershift, Alvin Toffler brings to a climax the ideas set forth in his previous works to offer a stunning vision of the future that will change your life. In Powershift, Toffler argues that while headlines focus on shifts of power at the global level, equally significant shifts are taking place in the everyday world we all inhabit - the world of supermarkets and hospita In Powershift, Alvin Toffler brings to a climax the ideas set forth in his previous works to offer a stunning vision of the future that will change your life. In Powershift, Toffler argues that while headlines focus on shifts of power at the global level, equally significant shifts are taking place in the everyday world we all inhabit - the world of supermarkets and hospitals, banks and business offices, television and telephones, politics and personal life. The very nature of power is changing under your eyes.

30 review for Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century

  1. 5 out of 5

    Saadia B. || CritiConscience

    The core argument of Toffler is about the idea that knowledge is becoming the key currency of a new super-symbolic economy, thereby leaving behind the overall materiality of the Industrial Age. The book in itself is a visionary lens on how political, social and economic powers are changing in the Information Age. Knowledge or lack of it holds power and determines worth nowadays more than ever. Topics like networked knowledge, the role of intuition and the value of adding context have made their The core argument of Toffler is about the idea that knowledge is becoming the key currency of a new super-symbolic economy, thereby leaving behind the overall materiality of the Industrial Age. The book in itself is a visionary lens on how political, social and economic powers are changing in the Information Age. Knowledge or lack of it holds power and determines worth nowadays more than ever. Topics like networked knowledge, the role of intuition and the value of adding context have made their place in the world. Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brad Acker

    Power comes from muscle, money, and mind (violence, wealth, knowledge). Change is occurring at hyper-speeds today. Facts become obsolete faster than ever before as new knowledge supplants old facts. Older forms of power are now dependent on knowledge (weapons developed using sophisticated technologies based on exponentially accelerating technological advances); wealth turning into electronic blips that circulate the globe at the speed of light and vanish in an economic meltdown. Radical change i Power comes from muscle, money, and mind (violence, wealth, knowledge). Change is occurring at hyper-speeds today. Facts become obsolete faster than ever before as new knowledge supplants old facts. Older forms of power are now dependent on knowledge (weapons developed using sophisticated technologies based on exponentially accelerating technological advances); wealth turning into electronic blips that circulate the globe at the speed of light and vanish in an economic meltdown. Radical change is underway as knowledge may becoming the currency of the future. Those who understand this powershift will be in a position to help guide the future amazing technological unfolding and merger of man and machine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    CD

    This has been the Toffler book for me that has been the most prescient about the early 21st Century. From the extrapolations of futurism that hint at the exact financial problems and the shifts in economic impact, Toffler was clearly on target. Violence as a theme of 'the future' we are now in has been uncannily forecast as a component of the geo-political/economic reality. My opinion and 'rating' of this will undoubtedly evolve, like the future, but here nearing a decade in this new century, this This has been the Toffler book for me that has been the most prescient about the early 21st Century. From the extrapolations of futurism that hint at the exact financial problems and the shifts in economic impact, Toffler was clearly on target. Violence as a theme of 'the future' we are now in has been uncannily forecast as a component of the geo-political/economic reality. My opinion and 'rating' of this will undoubtedly evolve, like the future, but here nearing a decade in this new century, this I feel is Toffler best realized futurism writing. Read again in 2015. Finished February 11

  4. 5 out of 5

    TK Keanini

    I still reference this book in my writings. Even back in 1991, Toffler could see the transformation that was taking place as we shifted our epistemology from the assembly line to information.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gerry McGarry

    Brilliant book, the examples may be old but the ideas are not.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anwer Ali

    One of the most informative books I have ever read. The author covered a complex topic with such an eloquence just matchless. A prophetic view on future almost 27 years ago is just mind-boggling. I will recommend this book for everyone just to change your view on the global politics and the game of power control.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mayevsky

    Toffler eternally alive. Powershift was issued in 1990. It appears that the description, the movement of tectonic plates of power in corporations, social structures and the global order of the late twentieth century, it will be a sufficient argument, that the book is not worth reading. Mistake. Toffler describes the trends that still exist, and in some cases their existence is felt today more than a quarter century ago. I think some parts of the Powershift should be mandatory reading for all politi Toffler eternally alive. Powershift was issued in 1990. It appears that the description, the movement of tectonic plates of power in corporations, social structures and the global order of the late twentieth century, it will be a sufficient argument, that the book is not worth reading. Mistake. Toffler describes the trends that still exist, and in some cases their existence is felt today more than a quarter century ago. I think some parts of the Powershift should be mandatory reading for all politicians.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brent Newhall

    Toffler remains remarkably prescient in this 1990 book about how the information age shifts power. The book remains useful, even 30 years later, to orient the reader to the changing winds of the times. I particularly appreciated his insight about the evolving importance of possessions, wealth, and knowledge (each dominant in its own era), and the implications of basing one's value to the world on one's knowledge (particularly the increasingly short lifetime of a fact). I admit I didn't read the la Toffler remains remarkably prescient in this 1990 book about how the information age shifts power. The book remains useful, even 30 years later, to orient the reader to the changing winds of the times. I particularly appreciated his insight about the evolving importance of possessions, wealth, and knowledge (each dominant in its own era), and the implications of basing one's value to the world on one's knowledge (particularly the increasingly short lifetime of a fact). I admit I didn't read the last part of the book, as it shifted into geopolitical prognostications that I'm sure are valid but are too far outside my locus of control.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Chung

    Very insightful even from hindsight. Many of his projections did come to fruition, while others have turned out different. Nonetheless, the underlying thought process that led to his conclusions are interesting to read even from hindsight.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mats Matsael

    very good book, it's like an insight into geopolitical space, and how it may look in the future if you interested in the in such topics. What Alvin has mentioned in this book is actually happening, i will give a better review when i get the time very good book, it's like an insight into geopolitical space, and how it may look in the future if you interested in the in such topics. What Alvin has mentioned in this book is actually happening, i will give a better review when i get the time

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Leemon

    A great book to understand how interpersonal power works, and how it is changing with the new technology

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Johnstone

    Not completed, found the book very dated!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    A lot more detail that I want to wade through but he has interesting points and ideas.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Whissteria

    For a book written in 1990, remarkably prescient.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    Visionary book about current and future trends.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was recommended to me by a co-worker and reading it now, some 20 plus years after it was first published, it was fairly prophetic. What stood out to me the most was how people often resist change and as a result miss opportunities that the future holds or cannot see the possibilities and dismiss ideas contrary to old school thought. In both cases predictive analysis cannot be employed. The premise of this book hinges, of course, on Power Shifts (aptly titled) as it relates to politics, This book was recommended to me by a co-worker and reading it now, some 20 plus years after it was first published, it was fairly prophetic. What stood out to me the most was how people often resist change and as a result miss opportunities that the future holds or cannot see the possibilities and dismiss ideas contrary to old school thought. In both cases predictive analysis cannot be employed. The premise of this book hinges, of course, on Power Shifts (aptly titled) as it relates to politics, wealth and knowledge. Putting forth the idea that knowledge will be the most important. Knowledge has and will always be the most important factor, but I love how Toffler saw the knowledge shift coming along the lines of technological innovation and the sharing of data, or as we call it today "big data" or the Internet of things. Even though I believe (perhaps an old school idea I should set aside as it is blinding me to future ideas) the economies that are most profitable are those that are most productive, Toffler suggests otherwise. We have, most decidedly, moved beyond the "second wave," or industrial revolution. Probably a time when countries are most productive. There is no argument that we now live in a service sector economy, a time, as Toffler states, when products and increasingly specialized to the individual. However, the history nerd in me suggests that this is a inherent danger to an economy. As it is well known that one of the reasons Rome fell was because it placed increased emphasis on services and entertainment. And I believe wholeheartedly that the past repeats itself. Toffler sees the transition to what he calls a super or hyper symbolic era as a good thing, however. It does really all depend on how information is used to influence an economy. There is now a plethora of knowledge available to us. So much in fact, that at times it can be overwhelming. And as Toffler states, success depends on how that information is shared and ultimately controlled. Perhaps most telling or prophetic for the modern economic times we live in, is that the economy is overly influenced and controlled by central powers, which will be the ultimate downfall and not because we live in a service sector economy with increased emphasis on entertainment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Chua

    There are 3 pillars of power; violence (force), money and knowledge. As this was written back in the 80s, Toffler was already able to identify how knowledge itself will expand, and overtake the previous 2 pillars of power. His narrative was this will pillar will overtake and the previous 2, though need to work in together for greater influence and control over world events. Information and knowledge, like how power and money, is not distributed equally, and thus creates a new disparity and inequ There are 3 pillars of power; violence (force), money and knowledge. As this was written back in the 80s, Toffler was already able to identify how knowledge itself will expand, and overtake the previous 2 pillars of power. His narrative was this will pillar will overtake and the previous 2, though need to work in together for greater influence and control over world events. Information and knowledge, like how power and money, is not distributed equally, and thus creates a new disparity and inequality of life. The key difference, force and money are finite and have limitations, while knowledge is infinite. Thus, he who has knowledge, controls the rest. "control the quality, quantity and distribution of knowledge within their domains". This line speaks so much and depending on how I wish to take it, it can either be scary or bring me to greater awareness of my situation. Being here in Singapore, I can say I have access to a lot of information, and restriction is low, comparing to other countries. In the past, without improved technology, or maybe a lack of understanding of it, I thought that the internet would be the gateway to unlimited and open information. How that has changed, as witnessing how certain sites and information can be made unavailable to different regions, all under the discretion of the those in charge. Would one be able to gather all critical information freely? Unlikely, and would be reserve for a small selected few only. As the main pillar of power shifts from force to money (industrial) to knowledge, the ones that holds the power changes as well. Without the ability to change, thinking that the old forms still rules (which many nations and people still behave and believe as such), one will get left behind in the trails of the exponential growth of the pillar of knowledge. When looking at this trinity of pillar, who has them today? The definition and those who occupy the seats of global "superpowers" is / have changed. It's not to be complacent, for again, knowledge changes everything, and knowledge can be easily shared and transferrable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    khashayar XerXes

    U must read this b4 having or telling or discussing any Opinion about anything around your world! it gives u a glass to see! best sociology book ever! if u r by any chance a part of the world between 1960-260 u Have 2 read these aalvin tofler series! 1970...future shock smthing is gonna change,it will change in the fastest way it could! here he discuss the effect that the rate may cause,& leave the tehem of the "change" 4 his next book to discuss! 1980...third wave he define us the chaneg we r facing or U must read this b4 having or telling or discussing any Opinion about anything around your world! it gives u a glass to see! best sociology book ever! if u r by any chance a part of the world between 1960-260 u Have 2 read these aalvin tofler series! 1970...future shock smthing is gonna change,it will change in the fastest way it could! here he discuss the effect that the rate may cause,& leave the tehem of the "change" 4 his next book to discuss! 1980...third wave he define us the chaneg we r facing or going to face in future decades in details 1990...power shift this change "third wave" will affect the basics of distribution of the meaning of the "power" in society!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Temerev

    Alvin Toffler is a political genius and a master predictor. Here are some of his predictions he made in "Powershift" back in 1990: — Revival of religion, especially religious fundamentalism; — Rise of aggressive, progress-denying environmentalism (that was 1990!); — Rise of nationalism and isolationism. Some of his predictions are yet to come (e.g., in "Third Wave" — the near-collapse of nuclear family and massive eradication of office jobs), but we'll be there in a few more years. He also gives a str Alvin Toffler is a political genius and a master predictor. Here are some of his predictions he made in "Powershift" back in 1990: — Revival of religion, especially religious fundamentalism; — Rise of aggressive, progress-denying environmentalism (that was 1990!); — Rise of nationalism and isolationism. Some of his predictions are yet to come (e.g., in "Third Wave" — the near-collapse of nuclear family and massive eradication of office jobs), but we'll be there in a few more years. He also gives a strategy of living and winning through the changes. Must read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Al Carlson

    Published in 1990, this book is still full of 'right on' and 'as yet unrealized' ideas. It is the third in a series, preceded by "Future shock" and "The Third Wave". When I read it in the very early 90's, I was blown away by his analysis. I read it first, then got his two previous books. Now, I look at his ideas and say, "Well, yeah!" Published in 1990, this book is still full of 'right on' and 'as yet unrealized' ideas. It is the third in a series, preceded by "Future shock" and "The Third Wave". When I read it in the very early 90's, I was blown away by his analysis. I read it first, then got his two previous books. Now, I look at his ideas and say, "Well, yeah!"

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joredos

    It is interesting how vast problem is divided into pieces by Toffler without useless explanations.This book is so actual nowadays but although some nations and societies are still doing mistakes already explained from Toffler. The author is explained symptoms,way of avoidance and future perspectives without force his reader to accept it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darina

    Power comes from violence, money or knowledge. Force is inflexible, wealth can be used to intimidate or to reward. "A power shift is a transfer of power. A 'powershift' is 'a deep-level change in the very nature of power." Interesting that even less than 30 years ago China was not considered a major player. Power comes from violence, money or knowledge. Force is inflexible, wealth can be used to intimidate or to reward. "A power shift is a transfer of power. A 'powershift' is 'a deep-level change in the very nature of power." Interesting that even less than 30 years ago China was not considered a major player.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    I read this one after the Thrid Wave....this book more than the others showed how important an education is and will be for our children and their children. And not just any education--the kind that teaches people to think.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Relax

    helps you understand the possibilities of the near future...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peter rock

    This book predicted many world events years in advance. Events I lived through it is a must read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fuldagap

    You want to open your mouth to speak; shut it, read the book first!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jack Vinson

    July 2001: Read based on recommendations from KM community. http://www.brint.com/wwwboard/message... July 2001: Read based on recommendations from KM community. http://www.brint.com/wwwboard/message...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Panakal

    Worth its weight in gold

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kashyap

    Good. Not the page turner like the Third wave.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ni8

    A brilliant articulate book on What goes around in today's world and the one in near future. A brilliant articulate book on What goes around in today's world and the one in near future.

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