Information revolution

The term information revolution describes current economic , social and technological trends beyond the Industrial Revolution .

Many competing terms have been proposed that focus on different aspects of this societal development. The British polymath crystallographer JD Bernal Introduced the term ” scientific and technical revolution ” In His 1939 book The Social Function of Science to describe the new role That science and technology are coming to play Within society. He asserted that science is becoming a “productive force”, using the Marxist Theory of Productive Forces . [1] After some controversy, the term was taken up by authors and institutions of the then- Soviet Bloc . Their aim to show Was That socialism Was a safe home for the scientific and technical ( “technological” for Some authors) revolution, Referred to by the acronym STR. The book Civilization at the Crossroads , edited by the Czech philosopher Radovan Richta (1969), became a standard reference for this topic. [2]

Daniel Bell (1980) challenged this theory and advocated post-industrial society , which would lead to a service economy rather than socialism . [3] Many other authors presented Their views, Including Zbigniew Brzezinski (1976) with his “technetronic Society”. [4]

Information in social and economic activities

The main feature of the information revolution is the economic, social and technological role of information . Information-related activities did not come up with the Information Revolution. They Existed, in one form or the other, in all human societies, and Eventually Developed Into institutions, Such As the Platonic Academy , Aristotle ‘s Peripatetic school in the Lyceum , the Musaeum and the Library of Alexandria , or the schools of Babylonian astronomy . The Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution , Or by scientific and technical institutions. During the Information Revolution all these activities are experiencing continuous growth, while other information-oriented activities are emerging.

Information is the central theme of several new sciences, which emerged in the 1940s, including Shannon ‘s (1949) Information Theory [5] and Wiener ‘ s (1948) Cybernetics . Wiener stated: “information is information not matter or energy”. This aphorism suggests that information should be considered along with matter and energy as the third constitute part of the Universe; Information is carried out by matter or by energy. [6] By the 1990s some writers believed that implied by the information will lead to not only a tax crisis for governments but also the disintegration of all “large structures”. [7]

The theory of information revolution

The term information revolution may relate to, or contrast with, such widely used terms as Industrial Revolution and Agricultural Revolution . Note, however, that you may prefer mentalist to materialist paradigm. The following fundamental aspects of the theory of information revolution can be given: [8] [9]

  1. The object of economic activities can be conceptualized according to the fundamental distinction between matter, energy, and information. These apply both to the object of each economic activity, as well as to each economic activity or enterprise. For instance, an industry may process matter (eg iron) using energy and information (production and process technologies, management, etc.).
  2. Information is a Factor of Production (along with capital , labor , land (economics) ), as well as a product sold in the market , That Is, a commodity . As such, it acquires value and exchange value , and therefore a price .
  3. All products have use value, exchange value, and informational value. The value of the product, in terms of innovation, design, etc.
  4. Industries develop information-generating activities, the so-called Research and Development ( R & D ) functions.
  5. Enterprises, and society at large, develop the information control and processing functions, in the form of management structures; These are also called ” white-collar workers “, ” bureaucracy “, “managerial functions”, etc.
  6. Labor can be classified according to the object of labor, laboratory information and non-laboratory information.
  7. Information activities in the broad sector, the new sector, the information sector along with the traditional primary sector , secondary sector , and tertiary sector , according to the three-sector hypothesis . These shoulds be Restated Because They Are based on the ambiguous definitions made by Colin Clark (1940), Who included in the tertiary sector all activities That have-nots-been included in the primary (agriculture, forestry, etc.) and secondary (manufacturing) Sectors . [10] The quaternary sector and the quinary sector of the economy are not based on a clear conceptual scheme, Although the latter is considered by some information sector. [2]
  8. From a strategic point of view of, Sectors can be defined as information sector, moyen de Production , moyen de consumption , THUS Extending the classical Ricardo – Marx model of the Capitalist Mode of Production (see Influences is Karl Marx ). Marx stressed in many occasions the role of the “intellectual element” in production, but failed to find a place for it in his model. [11] [12]
  9. Innovations are the result of the production of new information, as new products, new methods of production, patents , etc. Diffusion of innovations in the field of saturation effects (related term: market saturation ), following certain cyclical patterns and creating “economic waves”, also referred to as ” business cycles “. There are various types of waves, such as Kondratiev wave (54 years), Kuznets swing (18 years), Juglar cycle (9 years) and Kitchin (about 4 years, see also Joseph Schumpeter ) Thus, economic impact.
  10. Diffusion of innovations, structural-sectoral causes, shifts in the economy, which Joseph Schumpeter called vividly ” creative destruction “.

From a different perspective, Irving E. Fang (1997) identified six ‘Information Revolutions’: writing, printing, mass media, entertainment, the ‘tool shed’, and the information highway. In this work the term ‘information revolution’ is used in a narrow sense, to describe trends in communication media. [13]

Measuring and modeling the information revolution

Porat (1976) measured the information sector in the US using the input-output analysis ; OECD Economic and Monetary Union of the United States of America. [14] Veneris (1984, 1990) explored the theoretical, economic and regional aspects of the dynamical simulation computer model . [8] [9]

These works can be seen as Following The path originated with the work of Fritz Machlup Who in His (1962) book “The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States,” Claimed que la “knowledge industry Represented 29% of the US gross national Product “, which he saw as evidence that the Information Age had begun. He defines knowledge as a commodity and attempts to measure the magnitude of the production and distribution of this commodity within a modern economy. Machlup divided information into three classes: instrumental, intellectual, and pastime knowledge. He identified also five types of knowledge: practical knowledge; Intellectual knowledge, that is, general culture and the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity; Pastime knowledge, that is, Knowledge satisfying non-intellectual curiosity or the desire for light entertainment and emotional stimulation; Spiritual or religious knowledge; Unwanted knowledge, accidentally acquired and lovedly retained. [15]

More recent estimates have reached the following results: [16]

  • The world’s technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks grew at a sustained compound annual growth rate of 7% between 1986 and 2007;
  • The world’s technological capacity to store information grew at 25% between 1986 and 2007;
  • The two-way telecommunication networks in the two-decade,
  • The world’s technological capacity to compute information with the help of humanly guided general-purpose computers grew at 61% during the same period. [17]

See also

  • Business cycle
  • Digital dark age
  • Digital Revolution
  • Digital Transformation
  • Global village (term)
  • Information Age
  • Pollution Information
  • Information society
  • Knowledge Revolution
  • Kondratiev wave
  • Late modernity
  • Post-Fordism
  • Post-industrial society
  • Timeline of computing
  • White-collar worker


  1. Jump up^ Bernal, JD(1939),The Social Function of Science, George Routledge & Sons Ltd., London.
  2. Jump up^ Richta, R., Ed. (1969)Civilization at the Crossroads, ME Sharp, NY
  3. Jump up^ Bell, Daniel(1980),Sociological Journeys: Essays 1960-1980, Heinmann, LondonISBN 0435820699
  4. Jump up^ Brzezinski, Z.(1976),Between the Two Ages: America in the Technique Era, PenguinISBN 0313234981
  5. Jump up^ Shannon, CEandW. Weaver(1949)The Mathematical Theory of Communication, Urbana, Ill., University of Illinois Press.
  6. Jump up^ Wiener, Norbert(1948)Cybernetics, MIT Press, CA, Mass, p. 155
  7. Jump up^ Davidson, James Dale; William Rees-Mogg] (1999). The sovereign individual . Simon & Schuster. p. 7. ISBN  0684832720 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:b Veneris, Y. (1984), The Informational Revolution, Cybernetics and Urban Modeling , PhD Thesis, submitted to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (British Library microfilm no .: D55307 / 85). [1] .
  9. ^ Jump up to:b Veneris, Y. (1990). “Modeling the transition from the Industrial to the Informational Revolution” . Environment and Planning A . 22 (3): 399-416. Doi : 10.1068 / a220399 .
  10. Jump up^ Clark, C.(1940),Conditions of Economic Progress, McMillan and Co., London.
  11. Jump up^ Ricardo, D. (1978)The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, Dent, London. (First published in 1817)ISBN 0486434613.
  12. Jump up^ Marx, K.(1977)Capital, Progress Publishers, Moscow.
  13. Jump up^ Fang, Irving E. (1997) A History of Mass Communication: Six Information Revolutions , Focal PressISBN 0240802543
  14. Jump up^ Porat, M.-U. (1976)The Information Economy, PhD Thesis, Univ. Of Stanford. This thesis measures the role of the Information Sector in the US Economy.
  15. Jump up^ Machlup, F.(1962)The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States, Princeton UP.
  16. Jump up^ Hilbert, M .; Lopez, P. (2011). “The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information.” Science . 332 (6025): 60-5. PMID  21310967 . Doi : 10.1126 / science.1200970 .
  17. Jump up^ “video animation on The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information from 1986 to 2010

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