Author: Alvin Toffler, Heidi Toffler
Translator: Won-ho Kim
Hardcover | 256 pages | 232*162mm
|Important! Please read before you order!|
|>>>This book is written in Korean.|
About This Book
SOUTH KOREA'S LATEST ROCK STARS: ALVIN AND HEIDI TOFFLER
The Korea Herald
November 28, 2008
Futurist and writer Alvin Toffler was named by management consulting firm Accenture consulting firm Accenture as the third most influential figure in the business world behind Bill Gates and Peter Drucker. When Toffler speaks, people listen.
Here in Korea, the reception Alvin and his wife Heidi receive is nothing short of rock star status. Right before the couple sat down with The Korea Herald for an exclusive interview Wednesday, a group of distinguished professors refused to end their meeting with them as scheduled. Exceeding their allotted time, the giddy academics insisted on taking a series of photos with the Tofflers and implored them to autograph several copies of the couple's book "The Third Wave."
The groupie-like fawning by a pair of normally staid and buttoned-down scholars is something the Tofflers don't often experience at home. "America is such a big country with so many competing people with ideas. It's not like we're Brad Pitt and Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie," said Heidi Toffler.
When told that the academic community here may actually be more enamored of them than "Brangelina, 80-year old Alvin Toffler joked, "Well the one difference is, Pitt is not quite as good looking as I am."
"He's also not nearly as old as you!" shot back Heidi, the beginning of what was to become good-natured bickering between the two throughout the interview.
But the adoration the Tofflers receive in this country is mutual. "We really enjoy visiting Korea. I can't even remember how many times I've been here," said Alvin.
Why are they so popular among Koreans and others who've read their books? The acclaim of the Tofflers can be understood through the almost eerie prescience of their writings. The Tofflers have collaborated on a wide variety of publications including "The Third Wave," published in 1980, which predicted the eventual transition of countries from the "industrial age" to a "post-industrial age" dominated by information technology advances that would transform society. Alvin Toffler is widely credited with coining several terms that have entered the modern vernacular, including the oft-used "information age."
When evaluating Korea's transition to the "third wave" he said, "Korea may not be the most advanced nation in the world, but it is definitely one of the most advanced in terms of IT. It is on the right track."
Regarding the U.S. economy and its severe problems, Alvin Toffler has strong opinions. He strongly opposes the proposed $25 billion bailout of the Big Three U.S. automakers.
"This economy is not a manufacturing economy ... all of the rhetoric is 'we've got to get the smokestacks working again.' But there's no discussion of what kind of economy it is that we've got to save and develop."
For Toffler, being the futurist he is, the American economy - and indeed the global economy - has to view development in a forward-looking manner.
"You can't expect to fix the economy with the same strategies that we used after the 1929 crash. This is a totally different world."
American automakers have outdated labor practices and have insisted on making cars that are now obsolete and no longer desirable in the marketplace, according to the Tofflers. They say bailing them out now would be a short-term stopgap that doesn't address the realities of the modern economy.
In case anyone thought they were dismissive of the autoworkers plight, the Tofflers point out they have first-hand experience on the issue. Alvin was an assembly line worker for GM in his youth and Heidi was a United Auto Workers union shopkeeper. Therefore, they say it's not insensitivity, but a realization that the old model simply doesn't work anymore.
In fact, the Tofflers voice some concerns about the incoming Barack Obama administration and the decisions they've made in the transition period. This is despite the fact they voted for Obama in the Nov. 4 election.
When asked about Obama's recently announced economic team and the stimulus package proposed by his supporters, Alvin Toffler said bluntly, "The first thing Obama has to do is completely ignore whatever advice his economic team gives him!"
Toffler asserted that although the focus on public works and infrastructure rebuilding would theoretically create millions of new jobs, it wouldn't necessarily solve the problem of rebuilding a modern economy that cannot depend on the old model of industrial projects for economic growth any longer. Solutions to the Great Depression in the 1930s don't apply here.
"We have this information superhighway but people are looking at the old methods and not realizing that you can put more lanes on this highway," pointed out Heidi.
That being said, both Alvin and Heidi Toffler say their support of Obama went well beyond specific policy issues.
"He's not going to be able to deliver on all the promises he made during the campaign. But his victory was important. The fact that a black man won the presidency in the United States speaks volumes. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union used to spread the propaganda that the United States was a racist country. In fact, it was true back then. It's different now," said Alvin.
Even at the age of 80, Toffler has no desire to slow down. "I don't plan on retiring ever," he said. "But these dreadful social security and medicare taxes! We're still paying them, at a very high rate," interrupted Heidi.
"Get off that. There she goes again on the social security thing," sighed Alvin.
The two seem to be in constant argument about every issue, but that creative tension may be the secret to their success in spawning new ideas.
"I asked him why we argue all the time. He said, 'this is how I learn, '" Heidi said affectionately of her husband.
Alvin Toffler is scheduled to give a speech today at the National Assembly detailing his views on the global economic crisis and what to expect in the years ahead. It's a safe bet the nation's leaders will be paying keen attention to what this futurist has to say.
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