works its way into more of our instruments, artifacts, and machines, our manufacturing becomes more intelligent and information-driven. 84 All told, computer technology is becoming the integrative “nervous system” for all our other technologies. One very popular view regarding the contemporary transformation is that humanity is moving from an industrial society into an information society. Alvin Toffler, particularly in his books The Third Wave and Power Shift , subscribes to this theoretical view. 85 To a great degree, so does John Naisbitt in Megatrends and Megatrends 2000 . 86 Of particular, more recent note, Manuel Castells, in his three-volume work The Information Society: Economy, Society, and Culture , highlights the unique features of the Information Age and how it embodies a qualitatively different way of life than previous eras in human history. 87 Although neither Peter Drucker nor Daniel Bell, two
22 well-known and influential theorists of contemporary times, explicitly advocate for an “Information Age” theory of the future, both strongly emphasize the passing of the Industrial Age and the growing significance of information technology, information professions and disciplines, and knowledge as wealth and power. 88 Basically, the Information Age theory states that humanity is moving from a society ruled by Newtonian machines and philosophy to a society ruled by knowledge and information. The information revolution is being supported by computer and communication technologies which store, process, and transmit information. In discussing computers and the Information Age theory of the future, the sudden and ubiquitous expansion of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and other communication technologies must be included as an essential part of the big picture of things. The Internet, the largest machine humans have ever built, globally connects the ever growing population of computers worldwide. The Internet supports collective thinking and discourse, increased collaboration among the people of the world, and ties all the world’s computers into a global brain and mind. It has been just as critical in the development of the Information Age as the computer. It facilitates financial, economic, scientific, and personal transactions, at a whole new scale, among the myriad businesses, research institutes, social organizations, and people across the globe. The World Wide Web provides an electronic platform for creating a global visual presence. Coupled with the Internet, other communication technologies such as cell phones and wireless transmission are intensifying the exchange of ideas, information, and an immense torrent of small talk. In the Information Age, information is being broadcasted and received at a level that dwarfs all previous eras in human history. Projections are that this trend of “information overload,” for both better and worse, will continue to accelerate in the future.
- Fall '15
- Evolution, theory of Evolution, John Stewart