Future shock is the result of the accelerated rate of overwhelming technological and social change. According to Alvin Toffler, who first introduced this concept in this 1970 book Future Shock, this change leaves people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation".
Tofler actually spoke more about "present shock", failure to adapt to the changes in present reality. With the development of futurology and transhumanism there is now lots of information about the future that people have to adapt to as well. Like when Discovery Channel makes a documentary drama about the future expedition to Mars , people need to somehow make sense of it.
Future Shock Levels are the levels where different people find themselves in terms of their concept of the future, and what they are willing to consider and what is too futuristic or even shocking for them. The classification was proposed by Eliezer Yudkowsky.
- Original paper by Eliezer Yudkowsky.
- More detailed and nicely illustrated article
- Analysis of the concept by Michael Anissimov
- Yudkowsky's criticism of Michael Anissimov's essay (of the 2002 version)