Thursday, July 19, 2007

Future Shock

It's fairly well documented that Alvin Toffler's book, 'Future Shock'(1970), was a major philosophical influence on the first generation of Detroit techno pioneers, most notably Juan Atkins. I read a borrowed copy of the superb 'Techno Rebels' book by Dan Sicko a long time ago so can't confirm this by quoting text but I'm almost 100% sure that this book does go into some detail on this subject. If Toffler’s book was so influential I'm sure that a seemingly well read pair like James Stinson and Gerald Donald would have investigated it in time as well. While there is a chapter called ‘The New Atlantis’ which on the surface does seem to tie in with Drexciya’s underwater world I don’t think if you read it closely that it really ties in with anything specifically. Much more interesting however is the main premise of the book itself. As usual, in the following, I'm not saying this is how it happened but I'll just give you the information I have and you can make up your own minds, ideally researching it yourselves further.

The main theme of the book is to avoid future shock by a kind of social evolution. A paragraph in the last chapter neatly sums up this point.

"Throughout the past, as successive stages of social evolution unfolded, man's awareness followed rather than preceded the event. Because change was slow, he could adapt unconsciously, 'organically'. Today unconscious adaptation is no longer adequate. Faced with the power to alter the gene, to create new species, to populate the planets or depopulate the earth, man must now assume conscious control of evolution himself. Avoiding future shock as he rides waves of change, he must master evolution, shaping tomorrow to human need. Instead of rising in revolt against it, he must, from this historic moment on, anticipate and design the future."

Don't be afraid of evolution indeed, but be master of your own. I’m not saying their stealing idea’s of course, only expanding on them in that they come up with their own solution to future shock itself. The genius of the 'Storm Series' is how it appears to deal with developing the emotions, intellect and physical body, the three crucial elements which make up the human being which are most necessary for this social/personal evolution. Not only with the series did they give us ways to develop these centres but they also appeared to supply a vision of the future we are all so unstoppably hurtling towards, a future of extra dimensions and multiple universes. You only have to look into the vastness of space and know a little bit about astronomy to know we live in an infinite space and one day, if we survive long enough as a species, we will fully explore it. Drexciya were always thinking ahead and as I've stated many times before this is exactly the frontier that Gerald Donald seems to be exploring musically since at least 2003 if not personally for a long time previous. By studying the micro we gain a greater understanding of the macro and through theoretical physics, not to mention astronomy itself, we are gradually pushing this frontier of understanding and in the process opening up a whole new world which we will all have to adapt to continue living successfully.

I think you'll find loads of parallels with Drexciyan thinking in the pages of this book and a stimulating read on its own. You can read it online and begin to ride those dimensional waves of change yourself. But be warned wave jumper, this is only the beginning, this must become a way of life, your change must be an ongoing one. Also listen again to the lyrics of UR’s ‘Transition’ and truly ‘make your transition’, most of these Detroit people are all basically on the same page whether they know it or not!


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