The Third Wave - Alvin Toffler

     In The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler splits human development into three stages: the agricultural period, or First Wave; the industrial period, or Second Wave; and the post-industrial period, or Third Wave. This book mainly focuses on the latter two, comparing and contrasting the two stages. Toffler believes that moving into the Third Wave is the cause of many of the political and economic problems that we see today, a growing pain of sorts. According to Toffler's picture of this newest stage of human civilization, we are going to return to many of the best parts of the First Wave, including such things as power decentralization, regionalism, and "prosumerism," or individuals that  produce much of what they consume. Toffler predicted many aspects of this Third Wave future, some of which came to pass, and some of which did not. Being a futurist, Toffler unsurprisingly takes, in my opinion, a far too positive view of the future. Do not get me wrong, the future is all we have, and should be looked forward to positively, but many of his most positive predictions, for example, about power decentralization, greater equality in the distribution of wealth, and greater political power for the common people with more direct democracy, seem not only to not be coming to pass, but the opposites of his predictions appear to be far more realistic. An increased concern with environmentalism, which Toffler predicts as one of the most important aspects of the Third Wave, may be growing, but it is at a dangerously slow pace. However, despite all of these predictions that either have not or are not going to be fulfilled, many other predictions of his, particularly those regarding technology and communications, we can see have been fulfilled all around us. Overall, an interesting and thought provoking read.