Foreign Policy | September-October 2011
Welcome to the Hybrid Age
By Ayesha & Parag Khanna
It was the double date we had looked forward to more than any other. Just before sunset on a hot August day in Los Angeles, we sat in a nearly empty hotel restaurant awaiting the arrival of one of the most influential husband-and-wife intellectual teams in history: Alvin and Heidi Toffler.
They may be octogenarians now, but pick up a copy of the Tofflers' most famous books -- Future Shock (1970) and The Third Wave (1980) -- and you will quickly wonder why anyone bothers to write the redundant meta social and political commentaries that drown us today. These books, written when we were children, contain such stunning and prescient insights, encapsulated in elegant yet racing prose, that they ought to be essential reading four decades onward. Indeed, you couldn't be blamed for thinking they had just been published this year.
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Ayesha and Parag Khanna are co-directors of the Hybrid Reality Institute. Ayesha is author of Straight Through Processing for Financial Services. Parag is senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance.