Information Society Links

Professor John M. McCann
Fuqua School of Business
Duke University
Last update: March 13, 1996

This page provides links to sites that discuss the information revolution and related topics. I will be inserting new links as I run across them. Please send suggested insertions via email.

Third Wave

Alvin Toffler's book The Third Wave, published in 1980, used a historical perspective to argue that the transition from an industrial society (the Second Wave) to an information society (the Third Wave) can be best understood by looking back in time to the transition from the agricultural society (the First Wave) to the industrial society. Since then, many writers and futurists have joined in the study of the transition from the manufacturing-orientation of industrial society to the information- and knowledge-orientation of the Third Wave. The following links lead to some of the writings on this topic.

Alvin Toffler
Alvin Toffler is a futurist who has written several influencial books, including Future Shock and The Third Wave. The best source of published information is perhaps the original book, along with Toffler's more recent books and articles. A Web page is an outstanding site for studying his work.
Shumpei Kumon
Kumon, a scholar in the Center for Global Communications at the International University of Japan, has written a provocative piece on the information revolution's challenge for Japan. His vision of the waves is somewhat different from Toffler's but matches the general theme.
Magna Carta
A document titled "Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age," prepared and distributed by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, contains an updated version of the Third Wave argument, along with some ambitious statement about what must be done today to meet the challenges presented to us by the technologies. However, the doucment is no longer at that site. An interesting extension of this document is provided by FEED, an organization that reprinted the original and then "invited a team of commentators to write hypertext annotations."


George Gilder studies and writes about developments in computers and communications, and he makes projections about how they will impact societies, organizations, and individuals. I have been doing the same thing for the past eight years, and I find that Gilder's observations both agree with and extend my own beliefs and understanding about how the past and future. I like Gilder's views because he starts with an understanding of quantum physics and logically derives the consequences. In doing so, he is able to show that what we are observing in the changing nature of organizations and work can be traced to our new understanding of the nature of the universe and how this understanding had led to new technologies. For instance, he shows us why the power that had been concentrated in the center of organizations has moved to the edges.

Gilder's first major piece that is of importance to us is Microcosm: The Quantum Revolution in Economics and Technology (Simon and Schuster, 1989), a fascinating exploration of the source, meaning, and future of modern digital technology. He is now working on a new theme about the telecosm that he is publishing in Forbes, HBR, NY Times, etc. The following are links to my summarizations of Gilder's conceptualization of the microcosm and the telecosm, followed by links to sites that contain some of his papers.

The Information Highway

The Information Highway is a term that denotes the high speed communication lines that are in various stages of planning and development. The following are links to sites that discuss topics related to the NI and the National Information Infrastructure.

Globally Internetworked World

The following sites contain material about life and business in a globally internetworked world.

Digital Age Links

This link is to a document that contains links to sites that are, in general, large and/or multi-part articles about some aspect of cyberspace, the Third Wave, digital dawn, digital revolution, information superhighway, and other related topics

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