Future Shock, also known as Culture Lag

Future shock: the failure to notice what is happening in the present.

The 'revolution' I have been describing and reporting and in politics is the theme of the book called Deschooling by Ivan Illich. The theme of the book is simply that since there is now more information outside the schools than inside, we should close the schools and let the young obtain their education in the general environment once more. What Illich fails to see is that when the answers are outside, the time has come to put the questions inside the school, rather than the answers. In other words, it is now possible to make the schools not a place for packaged information, but a place for dialogue and discovery. This new pattern is recorded in the observation that twentieth-centery man is a person who runs down the street shouting: "I've got the answers. What are the questions?" There are various versions of this observation, some of them attributed to people like Gertrude Stein. At any rate, when information becomes totally environmental and instantaneous, it is impossible to have monopolies of knowledge or specialism, a fact which is extremely upsetting to nearly everybody in our present Establishments.
--Excerpt and definition from The End of the Work Ethic, an address given by Marshall McLuhan at the Empire Club of Canada in 1973.


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