Welcome to the future! The future of humanity and the future of publishing.
I am very excited about my new book Entering the Shift Age and the new model of publishing Sourcebooks has created, the Agile Publishing Model (APM). The APM is an innovative platform that allows authors to make their content available faster and in a more flexible format. For example, to suit your needs and interests as readers, Sourcebooks offers a variety of ways to purchase the content of Entering the Shift Age, either in individual parts (“mini eBooks”) or as a whole. (Check out “How to Purchase: The Agile Way”.) You can learn more about the APM by watching the video below.
This is part of the future of publishing. Now let’s turn toward our own future, the future of humanity.
We now live in the Shift Age, a time of transformation that will be regarded by future historians as one of the most significant periods in human history. The Shift Age is one of those inflection points or times when much of humanity will change how we live, how we think, how we interact with each other and what we do.
Think about the earlier discussion of Memes to Movements and the early example of Occupy Wall Street. That meme had incredible power and influenced the thinking of tens of millions in a matter of weeks and months. It was a pure example of Influence Power. Nothing could control it. There were base level effects of control— police tactics, city ordinances, resolutions relative to the use of public spaces— that pushed back, but ultimately Control Power could not stop Influence Power.
Make no mistake, Control Power is and will be still with us. But with the immediacy of the Shift Age Control Power will become more illusory, ephemeral and less absolute. Influence Power is and will be ascendant in the Shift Age.
By this point in the chapter, many of you may have had that famous quote from Victor Hugo come to mind:
“All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
Let’s think about that for a minute. Hugo lived entirely in the 19th Century. So when he spoke or wrote that quote he was looking at history that predated universal use of the telegraph, let alone all the subsequent communications technologies that have come along since. This means that all the great ideas he was referring to had only the transport of printed materials or the spoken word to propagate that idea through humanity. This obviously meant that that these “ideas whose time has come” took years and decades to move through humanity and usually only to the small percent of people who could read or who could converse with thinkers and leaders. Yet he still saw the profound influence of an idea that could spread.
Today in the Shift Age, an idea courses through the Neurosphere in hours and days. So an idea whose time has come now has unprecedented immediacy. Ideas that used to propagate through hundreds then thousands of people over the course of years or even months can now spread to hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in minutes and hours.