Digital Dawn CyberTrends
Professor John M. McCann
Fuqua School of Business
Additions to this document since November 6, 1997 are preceded with the icon.
This document contains a list of trends I have identified based upon quotes from managers, professionals, consultants, journalists, futurists, and educators who study the digital dawn ... the beginning of the digital age. Click on a topic to jump to the corresponding section of the document.
- "We are living through an extraordinary moment in human history. Historians will look back on our times, the 40-year span between 1980 and 2020, and classify it among the handful of historical moments when humans reorganized their entire civilization around a new tool, a new idea.
These decades mark the transition from the Industrial Age, an era organized around the motor, to the Digital Age, an era defined by the microprocessor -- the brains within today's personal computer.
The mid-1990s, perhaps even 1995, may come to be viewed as the defining moment when society recognized the enormity of the changes taking place and began to reorient itself. "
Source: Peter Leyden, "The Historic Moment," in "On the Edge of the Digital Age," Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, 1995
- "Literally, we are going through a discontinuity right now. Since you started writing your article, from the time you started
to the time you finish, we will have gone through a fundamental discontinuity in the world. Right now. It's the Web. The
network has emerged. ... I mean it very profoundly. Our civilization is changing in these six months to a year, right now. We have moved from the
atomized disconnected hierarchal civilization, to the networked interconnected globalized civilization, literally in this year.
It is happening in 1995. We will look back 50 years from now and see this was the critical moment of transformation."
Source: Peter Schwartz (President, Global Business Network), quoted in "On the Edge of the Digital Age," Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, 1995
- "This is a revolution that a lot of people don't see."
Source: Ira Brodsky, quoted in G. Christian Hill, "Look! No Wires! The Cord Has Been Cut, and Communication May Never Be The Same," Wall Street Journal, Feb. 11, 1994, Sec. R, p. 1
- "For Avram Miller, vice-president of corporate business development for Intel, the big story of the present -- personal computers -- will remain so, far into the future. 'The personal computer,' he says, 'will be to the 21st century what the automobile was to the 20th. It will reorganize the way we live, play, and spend our lives. How it will affect a particular business will vary with the business. But one thing appears obvious -- some of the hottest places for doing business will not be places at all, but will exist in cyberspace. There will be a whole new world of virtual products and services that live only in this other world, which we will create as we go along. ... I know it sounds wild. It's as hard for us to understand as the airplane was in the 19th century. Yet now we fly on planes every day. Cyberspace will be a world 21st-century man will feel at home in.'"
Source: Michael S Malone, "Chips Triumphant," Forbes ASAP, February 26, 1996, p. 74.
- “Capitalist growth is based on an environmentally benign replacement of matter and energy with knowledge and ingenuity. Every year entrepreneurial forces yield more energy-efficient and information-intensive means of production. Made of the three most common substances in the earth’s crust - silicon, oxygen and aluminum - microchips have been the driving force of capitalist growth for 20 years. Microchip technology is now converging with fiber optics -- also essentially made of silicon -- to create a new information economy. In the form of computers linked with fiber optics -- allowing telecommuting, home schools and remote health care -- sand and glass replace oil and coal, hospital beds and centralized medicine, ineffectively centralized schools and colleges, environmentally wasteful agriculture and culturally erosive television and entertainment."
Source: George Gilder, “Leisure & Arts -- Bookshelf: Yale’s Dr. Doom Looks Into The Impoverished Future,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 1995, p. A12
- "For the past few years the titans of media and communications have waged a war for the digital future. With great fanfare, telephone and cable TV companies have launched dozens of trials to demonstrate their vision of speedy electronic networks, connecting homes to a boundless trove of information, communication, education and fun. Shambling towards their distant goal of a wired world, they have been too busy to notice the unruly bunch of computer hackers, engineers and students scurrying about at their feet. They should have paid more attention. For while the giants have just been talking about an information superhighway, the ants have actually been building one: the Internet. ... What does that mean? This survey will argue that the Internet revolution has challenged the corporate-titan model of the information superhighway. The growth of the Net is not a fluke or a fad, but the consequence of unleashing the power of individual creativity. If it were an economy, it would be the triumph of the free market over central planning. In music, jazz over Bach. Democracy over dictatorship."
Source: "The Accidental Superhighway," The Economist, July 1, 1995
- "It really is a revolution and it really is big. There are revolutions large and small but one this
big probably hasn't come in at least a hundred years and in the end we may look back and say
this was the biggest thing since the advent of the printing press in the mid 1400s. One
qualification though: it's very important to keep in mind that revolutions take time and this
particular revolution we're in is going to take several decades to unfold and so it's important not
to confuse the local phenomena, current events, the advent of the Internet and Mosaic and web
browsers as the revolution itself. The revolution is something deeper and bigger and occurring
over decades. ... Quite simply
digital technology is the solvent leaching the glue out of old much cherished social, political and
business structures. We're in a period where everything is changing, everything is up for grabs
and nothing makes any sense and probably won't make any sense for two or three more
decades. Now the good news is that all of that uncertainty also spells opportunity. It's created
new opportunities for businesses, new kinds of jobs. This is a full employment act for
everybody touched by information technologies. At a social level though it could be very good,
but it could also be very bad. We really are performing a great unwitting experiment on
ourselves and it's anyone's guess how it's going to come out. ... this revolution is more than unpredictable. We are performing a great unwitting experiment that is changing our social structures, our governmental structures and our business
structures, everything, absolutely everything is up for grabs and nothing's going to make any
sense at all for a couple of decades so we may as well sit back and enjoy the ride."
Source: Paul Saffo interview by PBS Frontline on June 12, 1995
- " Many-to-many media, I think, are a revolution in the way the printing press was a revolution. ... The printing press simply unlocked literacy. What's important is not how you put those words together in a machine, what's important is what a population does with it. When you collect computers and telecommunications together, you created a global many-to-many medium that unlocks the access to other people's minds. You no longer have to be a television network or own a newspaper, take a little computer bulletin board system and publish a manifesto or an eyewitness report, you could be in Tienamen Square, you could be anywhere in the world where news is happening and broadcast that news to the world. I believe that it is as fundamental a power as the printing press was. ... What made the medium valuable is that every desktop can be a broadcasting station or a printing press. You no longer have to rely on a central authority. Everybody can communicate with everybody else."
Source: Howard Rheingold, interview by PBS Frontline on June 15, 1995
- "The discontinuity we are now living through will be every bit as disruptive to our lives, and as beneficial, as the Industrial Revolution was to the lives of our great-grand-parents. The way we compete will change dramatically enough over just the next few years to alter the very structure of our society, empowering some and disenfranchising others. ... In a world in which communications and information are practically free, the economic system will be driven more than ever before by genuine innovation and human creativity. In such a world, ideas will be the medium of exchange."
Source: Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time, Doubleday, 1993, p. 5
- " If anything, the computer is right now in the early throes of a new phase of its revolution, as it becomes more an instrument of communication, less one of computation. It is, after all, only in the past few years that microelectronics has invented what amounts to a whole new dimension of commerce and discourse. You do not have to be a nerd or a mystic to see that historians will look back upon the emergence of "cyberspace" as a turning point no less decisive than the advent of the computer itself. A machine that transforms communication impinges far more radically on people's lives than one that transforms computation. Why mass media, when information can be consumed in individualised packets? Must workplaces be "places" at all? The next limiting factor is not going to be the ability to imagine the future, or to invent it; many people think they can imagine it all too well. It is their willingness to embrace it that will matter most."
Source: "That Astonishing Microchip," The Economist, March 23, 1996
- "This is the fourth major social and economic revolution in the United States that has stemmed from
technology. The first was the development of the nation's railroad system between the Civil War
and World War I. The second was the investment in industrial equipment between 1935 and 1973.
The third was the computer era-mainframe through personal computers-from the 1960s to the
present. Each caused changes that fundamentally altered lives, communities and the pattern of
history. Now, in the 1990s, the fourth major technological and economic revolution, the revolution of interactive communications, is emerging. It could well dwarf the earlier communications revolutions
begotten by the telegraph, telephone, radio and television."
Source: "The Promise and Challenge of a New Communications Age," Morino Institute, May 15, 1995
- "It's the third great revolution in the history of the world. First came the neolithic revolution in agriculture. Then the industrial revolution. Now we're moving to an information society. ... The information revolution has changed people's perception of wealth. We originally said that land was wealth. Then we thought it was industrial production. Now we realize it's intellectual capital. The market is showing us that intellectual capital is far more important than money. This is a major change in the way the world works. Just like all the farmers who disappeared during the industrial revolution, the same thing is now happening to huge numbers of people in industry as we move into the information age. ... We are witnessing a complete change in the concept of wealth, and whenever that changes, you have political change. People invested in yesterday will fight to the last person. People trying to invest in the future will push the agenda of social change."
Source: Walter Wriston, "The Future of Money," Wired, October 1996
- "Two former Novell vice presidents have joined with several other industry executives to form a company the group said will pursue opportunities relating to the Internet's World Wide Web. Toby Corey, former vice president of marketing for Novell's NetWare Products division, said 'We believe that Web sites are essentially real estate lots in an unbounded territory on a new continent.' ... Corey compares the effect the Web will have on society to the changes that took place on the western US frontier during the 19th century. 'Our civilization will change in fundamental ways as the Web frontier is progressively settled.' He predicts Web sites are where citizens will eventually go to vote, register their automobiles, join town hall discussions or to check out local schools before moving into a town as well as obtain products. 'For businesses Web sites will contain storefronts, agents and information centers ... dramatically streamlining innumerable everyday business functions and extending the market reach of virtually any business to the entire planet.' Corey predicted that, for individuals, their personal Web site will become an online homestead, where all live communication is conducted, where text/audio/video messages are sent and received, where personal information is presented to others, and where the individual can store nformation that today might be stored on the hard disk of a PC."
Source: Jim Mallory, "Former Novell Execs Launch Web Venture," Newsbyte News Network, December 18, 1995
- "The more direct path to creating new wealth in society - call it the quantum growth leap - is through the
development of entirely new products and services, markets and businesses. Some of these new markets, such as
the Internet and World Wide Web, are already growing at prairie fire pace but from such low bases that they
don't yet count for much. Yet the law of compounding numbers suggests that businesses enjoying today's
double-digit monthly growth rates will reach sizable scale in the not-too-distant future, even assuming that today's
15 percent-per-month growth rate in a field such as Internet communications cools off to a mere 15 percent per
year. ... So the digital gold rush is on, generating a madcap frenzy to stake claims. That's why heretofore conservative
communications companies are willing to plop down billions of dollars at auction for PCS licenses, using their
arsenals of lawyers, investment bankers, and Nobel Prize-winning 'game' theorists to muscle the competition out
of the way as they build crazy quilts of spectrum across the continent. 'Nobody has any idea of what they're going
to do with the license, how they're going to use it, what value it has, if any. But they have to act now, because
now is the time the FCC is allowing prospectors to stake their spectrum claims,' observes communications
consultant Hershel Shoesteck. Look at this process the way the managers of the Bear Stearns's New Age Media Fund do: 'In our view, the creation of a fully interactive nationwide communications network could open up the largest market opportunity in history, possibly generating several hundred billion dollars in new net GDP growth over the next 15 years.'"
Source: David Kline, "The Alchemy of Wealth," Hotwired, December 18, 1995
- "In moving data around the world, we're in for one helluva toboggan ride down the price curve. Today's consumption of total in-place fiber-optic cable capacity barely exceeds 6% to 7%. In the next seven years, capacity is likely to grow by a factor
of 10,000. This includes today's huge and still growing oversupply in data-freight capacity from twisted-pair phone lines,
newer ISDN lines, terrestrial microwave links, FM subcarrier transmission, and mobile radio. The real rogue element is the
satellite, with its 10- to 25-gigabaud ''data-squirt'' capacity. ...The real superhighway will be everywhere, like nitrogen or moisture. Every man, woman, and child will be fully immersed in a global digital medium. Apple's visionaries got it right when they called it ''E-World.'' Our investigation of the long-term effects of this one development-cheap bandwidth that will be leveraged by every enterprise to continually reduce transaction costs-reveals that it will destroy between 20 million and 25 million jobs in North America. Hardest hit will be retail, wholesale, and the service portions of every business. ... According to AT&T, 57% of your current long-distance toll charge is the cost of accounting (billing, etc.), and up to 95% of a transcontinental toll charge is for local-access fees at the point of destination. ,,, When multimedia and cheap bandwidth come together, a new trillion-dollar industry emerges: Interactive telemedia. It represents the confluence of interests shared by the engines of commerce and content creation. ... The strategic software will not be Windows; it will be the hyper-adaptive digital agent, originating in a handheld telecomputing device, that will navigate cyberspace and bring home the digital bacon you fancy. ... Ultimately, what emerges is the global Interopolis-a new, rapidly expanding republic of information. The strategy for finding and keeping customers will be total customer satisfaction. Nothing less will do. There will be very few pockets of ignorance left to exploit."
Source: Michael Moon, “Dirt-Cheap Bandwidth and the Coming Revolution,” Electronic Buyer News, January 31, 1994, p. 44
- “The Internet, specifically the Web, is moving from appearing as a neat application to being the underlying information space in which we communicate, learn, compute, and do business.”
Source: Tim Berners-Lee, quoted in “The Internet: Where’s It All Going,” Information Week, July 17, 1995, p. 31.
- "The agent of change will be in Internet, both literally and as a model or metaphor. ... The user community of the Internet will be in the mainstream of everyday life. Its demographics will look more and more like the demographics of the world itself. As both Minitel in France and Prodigy in the United States have learned, the single biggest application of networks is e-mail. The true value of a network is less about information and more about community. The information superhighway is more than a short cut to every book in the Library of Congress. It is creating a totally new, global social fabric."
Source: Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital, Alfred Knopf, 1995, p. 181
- "Information technology was a good name 20 years ago when computing and handling data were the end of the story. But now, the reason we deploy so-called information technology increasingly has to do with managing relationships. As in relationships among people, like on the Internet; or relationships among companies, like on an electronic data interchange network; or relationships among nations, like when central banks use clearing and settlement networks. Most of what is called information technology today has already outgrown the name and is now relationship technology. ... If this technology is used for creating human communities, the 21st century will be very different ... The opportunity is there. The time has come to shift from the engineering approach of information technology, which was totally warranted at the beginning, to the human and relationship approach."
Source: Albert Bressand and Catherine Distler, interview in "R-Tech," Wired, June 1996, p. 139.
- "All memories can be divided into those that are purely personal and private and those that are shared or social. Unshared private memories die with the individual. Social memory lives on. Our remarkable ability to file and retrieve shared memories is the secret of our species’ evolutionary success. And anything that significantly alters the way we construct, store, or use social memory therefore touches on the very wellspring of destiny. Twice before in history humankind has revolutionized its social memory. Today, in constructing a new info-sphere, we are poised on the brink of another transformation. In the beginning, human groups were forced to store their shared memories in the same place they kept private memories -- i.e., in the minds of individuals. ... So long as this remained true, the size of the social memory was sorely limited. No matter how good the memories of the elderly, no matter how memorable the songs or lessons, there was only so much storage space in the skulls of the population. Second wave civilization smashed the memory barrier. It spread mass literacy. It kept systematic business records. It invented the file cabinet. In short, it moved social memory outside the skull. Today we are about to jump to a whole new stage of social memory. The radical de-massification of the media, the invention of new media, the mapping of the earth by satellite, ... all mean we are recording the activities of the civilization in fine-grain detail. ... The shift to Third Wave social memory ... is imparting life to our memory ... it makes social memory both extensive and active."
Source: Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1980, pp. 192-193
- "Cyberia is the place a businessperson goes when involved in a phone conversation, the place a shamanic
warrior goes when traveling out of body, the place an ``acid house'' dancer goes when experiencing the
bliss of a techno-acid trance. Cyberia is the place alluded to by the mystical teachings of every religion,
the theoretical tangents of every science, and the wildest speculations of every imagination. Now,
however, unlike any other time in history, Cyberia is thought to be within our reach. The technological
strides of our postmodern culture, coupled with the rebirth of ancient spiritual ideas, have convinced a
growing number of people that Cyberia is the dimensional plane in which humanity will soon find itself. ... A new scientific paradigm, a new leap in technology, and a new class of drug created the conditions for
what many believe is the renaissance we are observing today. Parallels certainly abound between our era
and renaissances of the past: the computer and the printing press, LSD and caffeine, the holograph and
perspective painting, the wheel and the spaceship, agriculture and the datasphere. But cyberians see this
era as more than just a rebirth of classical ideas. They believe the age upon us now might take the form
of categorical upscaling of the human experience onto uncharted, hyperdimensional turf. ... Whether or not we are destined for a wholesale leap into the next dimension, there are many people who
believe that history as we know it is coming to a close. It is more than likely that the aesthetics,
inventions, and attitudes of the cyberians will become as difficult to ignore as the automatic teller machine
and MTV. We all must cope, in one way or another, with the passage of time. It behooves us to grok
Source: Douglas Rushkoff, Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Hyperspace, Harper San Francisco, 1994
- "The importance of the digital revolution is that it alters, in fundamental ways, the availability of
information in time and place, and the cost of that information. The potential now exists to make
information available at any time the consumer desires (rather than when it is convenient for the producer
to distribute it). Consider, for example, the difference between a continually updated on-line news service
and traditional home delivery of daily newspapers. Through the use of improved wireline and,
particularly, wireless networks (such as the global telephone capability promised by the Iridium satellite
network), information can be available in any and every place the consumer desires.(9) Digitization also
promises to reduce the cost of information transmission as it exploits steep learning curves in the design
and production of standardized electronic components, and enormous economies of scale in network
Even if its effects were limited to voice, video and data, digitization would represent a powerful
revolution. But it also has the potential to transform an array of other businesses and industries. In effect,
the forces of digitalization act like the gravity of a "wormhole" in Star Trek, pulling recognizable
industries through it and transforming them into something unrecognizable on the other side. In
fact, as entertainment and shopping are already being pulled through the digitization wormhole,
newspapers, education, gambling, and advertising, among other businesses, are beginning to be pulled into
its gravitational field."
Source: P. William Bane, Stephen P. Bradley, and David J. Collis, "Winners And Losers:
Industry Structure In The Converging World Of
Telecommunications, Computing And Entertainment," Multimedia Colloquium 1995, Harvard Business School
- "'What is happening now is equivalent to what happened when the printing press was invented in the 1400s,' he begins. 'The authority of the church crumbled because we could all read the Bible in our own homes and make up our own minds about God. Priest were suddenly just people.' Television robs presidents of authority, he goes on, computers liberate people from corporate authority, and CD-ROMS will soon rob teachers of their power because students will have instant access to everything teachers know. Says he: 'This will lead to a renaissance, which in one way is great, because so much creativity will bubble up. But it also heralds a very turbulent time. People are often frightened when there is no authority around.'"
Source: Carla Rapoport, "Charles Handy Sees the Future," Fortune, October 31, 1994
- "A growing number of people are now choosing these kinds of decentralized models for the organizations
and technologies they construct in the world, and for the theories they construct about the world. One
such case began to unfold on December 7, 1991, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with the
leaders of Ukraine and Belarus in a forest dacha outside the city of Brest. After two days of secret
meetings, the leaders issued a declaration: "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as a subject of
international law and a geopolitical reality, is ceasing its existence." With that announcement, Yeltsin and
his colleagues sounded the final death knell for a centralized power structure that had ruled for nearly 75
years. In its place, the leaders established a coalition of independent republics and promised a radical
decentralization of both economic and political institutions."
Source: Mitchel Resnick, "Changing the Centralized Mind,"Technology Review, July 1994
- "All over the globe, the pinprick light of the networked society is glowing and growing.
At the start of the 1990s there were 1 million people connected--or more often trying
to connect across rickety copper cables--to a kludgy, text-driven computer network
choked with E-mail and binary scientific gibberish. But as joining the Internet got
easier, its value--and population--multiplied. ... Even Bert Roberts, chairman of U.S. telephone giant MCI, a company
built on this wave of liberalization, seems astonished when he relates that the 75
million phone numbers registered in 1995 equal the total number distributed from 1876
to 1956. And Internet access is growing even faster. 'It's taken us 100 years to get the
phone network to the point it's at,' says Fred Briggs, MCI's chief engineering officer.
'The Internet will get to that same level in five years.' Briggs should know: MCI ran
the original Internet backbone and watched as year-to-year demand quadrupled. ... Call it the networked decade--the last one of the century, chimed in by an overture of
dial tones, rings and beeps. ... the networked decade seems to have been prefigured by a law of its own,
Robert Metcalfe's Law of the Telecosm. Metcalfe, whose Harvard Ph.D. dissertation
led directly to his invention of the Ethernet in 1973, has pegged the power of a
network--literally how much it can do--to the square of the number of connected
machines. ... It is a breathtaking proposition that takes up, perhaps, too little space on the page. But
the implications from the simple logic are easy enough to trace, and they will fill
volumes of history yet to be written: that the Internet as we know it today will be over
100 times more powerful an informational tool by century's end; that each newly
connected PC boosts the power of the network not geometrically but exponentially;
that autarchy is forever dead. Brazen, perhaps, but after decades of uninterrupted
technological acceleration, even the most pie-eyed technophiles are starting to adjust to
the Gs. All they can think to ask is, 'What on earth will this mean?'"
Source: Pablo Bartholomew-Gamma, "The Networked Society: Welcome to the Wired World," Special Report from Time Inc. concerning the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, February, 1997
- “‘This is an important historical moment,' says Jeffrey Sachs, an economist at Harvard University. ‘The positive side is spectacular.’ Barring a major war or an environmental catastrophe, he believes, ‘economic growth will raise the living standards of more people in more parts of the world than at any prior time in history.’ Domingo Cavalio, he architect of Argentina’s dramatic economic restructuring in the 1990s, echoes that notion. ‘We’ve entered a golden age that will last for decades.’ he says predicting that ‘historians will come to see the 1990s as the time of its birth. Even United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who often deals with troubled nations that have had no growth for years, sees the world entering ‘a new golden age.’”
Source: G. Pascal Zachary, “Global Growth Attains A New, Higher Level That Could Be Lasting,” Wall Street Journal, March 13, 1997, p. A1
- "These appear to be the times of bewildering transformation and change in the structure and organization of modern Western economy and society. It seems that capitalism is at a crossroads in its historical development signaling the emergence of forces - technological, market, social and institutional - that will be very different from those which dominated the economy after the Second World War. Though not uncontroversial, there is an emerging consensus in the social sciences that the period since the mid-1970s represents a transition from one distinct phase of capitalist development to a new phase. Thus, there is a sense that these are times of epoch-making transformation in the very forces which drive, stabilize and reproduce the capitalist world. Terms such as 'structural crisis', 'transformation' and 'transition' have become common descriptors of the present, while new epithets such as 'post-Fordist', 'post-industrial', 'post-modern', fifth Kondratiev' and 'post-collective' have been coined by the academic prophets of our times to describe the emerging new age of capitalism. ... New or not, it seems indisputable that the salience of so many of the icons of the age of mass industrialization and mass consumerism appears to be diminishing. Under threat in the West appears to be the centrality of large industrial complexes, blue-collar work, full employment, centralized bureaucracies of management, mass markets for cheap standardized goods, the welfare state, mass political parties and the centrality of the national state as a unit of organization. While, of course, each individual trend is open to dispute, taken together they make it difficult to avoid a sense that an old way of doing things might be disappearing or becoming reorganized. The 'post-Fordist' debate concerns the nature and direction of such epoch-making change."
Source: Ash Amin, "Post-Fordism: Models, Fantasies and Phantoms of Transition," in Post-Fordism: A Reader, Ash Amin (Editor), Blackwell Publishers, 1994, p. 1
- "We are, I believe, at the beginning of a Third Industrial Revolution that will reshape not only our industrial processes, but also bring with it great changes that will affect us all. The First Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century brought fundamental but primitive changes in the allocation of people, resources, and energy. In the Second Industrial Revolution, the revolutionary impact of automobiles, photography, electric power, and industrial chemicals made the United States a foremost industrial power. ... The history of the Third Revolution begins with the information revolution brought about by the computer and made effective as a revolutionary device in the microprocessor which continues to drive the expansion and diffusion of the new knowledge-based processes. But the Third Industrial Revolution goes far beyond the computer and the microprocessor. Each decade since the second world war has brought crucial developments in related areas of CAD/CAM, fiber optics, lasers, holography, biogenetics, bioagriculture, and telecommunications. The synergy of these new scientific/industrial areas will change the way of life for the next half-century and beyond.
Source: Joseph Finkelstein, Windows on a New World: The Third Industrial Revolution, Greenwood Press, 1989, p. xv
- "By 2047, one can imagine a body-networked, on-board assistant-a guardian angel
that can capture and retrieve everything we hear, read, and see. It could have as
much memory and processing power as its master, that is 1,000 million-million
operations per second, (one petaops) and a memory of 10 terabytes. Content and all electronically encodable information will be in cyberspace. ... Zero cost, communicating
computers will just be everywhere, embedded in everything from phones, light
switches, motors, buildings, and highways to all seeing, all changing pictures that
can converse with us. They'll be the eyes and ears for the blind and deaf, know
exactly where they are, and be able to drive vehicles. The only limits to
cyberization are our networks and our ability to interface computers with the
various parts of the physical world through sensor/effectors consisting of direct
connections, voice, gestures, and so on. Driven by a quest for knowledge and the economics of new industry formation and efficiency, cyberization is inevitable."
Source: Gordon Bell, "The Body Electric," Communications of the ACM, February 1997
- "Anything that gets information to people is threatening to existing power structures. I was talking to Peter Drucker about the fact that no one has figured out a way to catergorize things on the Internet. He told me about a Czeck monk in the 15th century who invented alphabetization. Before that, books were arranged wherever the monks wanted to put them, so nobody else could find them. Then this guy had a brilliant idea to go a-b-c. It revolutionized the organization of information. He broke the monopoly of the monks. And you know what happened to him? He got excommunicated for his trouble. Whenever there is a shift in how wealth is created, the old elites give up their position and a new group of people arise and control society. We're in the middle of that right now."
Source: Walter Wriston, "The Defeat of the Elite," Forbes ASAP, December 1, 1997, p. 156
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