Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

The Information Society

Options
  • 06-07-2016 12:24am
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Sociologist Daniel Bell (1974) suggested that we were beginning to move towards an economy where knowledge was a commodity. This has been viewed by many as a foreshadowing of the 'information society'. Although no straight definition exists, the term 'information society' generally refers to the important role of information in our lives (Webster 1994).

    In this world where information is now currency in the global economy, it has been suggested that the 'information society' is the successor to the Industrial Revolution.

    There is no doubt that information is a key part of modern life. But what is doubt, is whether or not this is something completely new or merely a continuation of an older form?

    Bell, D. (1974) The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

    Webster, F. (1994) What Information Society? The Information Society, Vol. 10(1), pp. 1-23.


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,231 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    mzungu wrote: »
    There is no doubt that information is a key part of modern life. But what is doubt, is whether or not this is something completely new or merely a continuation of an older form?
    "Knowledge is power" has been attributed to Francis Bacon (Meditationes Sacrae, 1597), or "scientia potentia est" in Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1668), but in both cases such knowledge was powerful in that it was held by a few. Today's version was different given the extraordinary access to information via the web, and the expanding proliferation of information enabling hardware and software globally, that makes a substantial difference; i.e., information "society," rather than the esoteric access nested in academia, or other information rich niche groups.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Black Swan wrote: »
    "Knowledge is power" has been attributed to Francis Bacon (Meditationes Sacrae, 1597), or "scientia potentia est" in Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1668), but in both cases such knowledge was powerful in that it was held by a few.

    Indeed. It was similar in ancient Egypt where religious, astronomical and agrarian knowledge served as the bedrock of that society as the power was held by the few who had access it. The exact same can be said for Torah-knowledge in ancient Israel that served to structure society (Böhme & Stehr 1986).
    Today's version was different given the extraordinary access to information via the web, and the expanding proliferation of information enabling hardware and software globally, that makes a substantial difference; i.e., information "society," rather than the esoteric access nested in academia, or other information rich niche groups.

    New technologies have allowed for instantaneous transactions. It could be argued that all that has changed is the speed. Webster (1994) asks us to consider if technology is the bedrock of this new society, then is there any specific reason we don't call it the 'automated society' or the 'cybernetic society'?

    It could be argued that access to information is still held by niche groups. If we take Webster's (1994) example of the 'inner circle' corporate leaders:
    These are people who are empowered by communicative skills, analytical abilities, foresight, and capacities to formulate strategic policies, who also enjoy privileged educational backgrounds, connections through shared clubs and boardroom affiliations, plus access to sophisticated information and communications technologies. All of this provides them with extraordinary leverage over social, economic, and political affairs at the national and even international level. They are information specialists but radically different from the run-of-the-mill information workers that quantitative methodologists would crudely lump them with.

    According to Webster, if we remove the veneer of new technology from society, it could be suggested that it features the same dynamics of knowledge that Hobbes spoke of. What we have today could be seen not as a radically 'new' information society, but rather a continuation of what has come before. That being a 'top down' society in which a small few still withhold the information that matters.


    Böhme, G., & Stehr, N. (Eds.). (1986). The knowledge society: the growing impact of scientific knowledge on social relations (Vol. 10). Springer Science & Business Media.

    Webster, F. (1994) What Information Society? The Information Society, Vol. 10(1), pp. 1-23.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,231 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    mzungu wrote: »
    According to Webster, if we remove the veneer of new technology from society, it could be suggested that it features the same dynamics of knowledge that Hobbes spoke of. What we have today could be seen not as a radically 'new' information society, but rather a continuation of what has come before. That being a 'top down' society in which a small few still withhold the information that matters.
    But technology cannot be removed, and although Webster may have merit in the short-run microcosm, in the long-run macrocosm he is in error. Certainly privileged wealthy and powerful groups attempt to keep access to their decision-making information proprietary (i.e., "knowledge is power"), but it's now too late to stop the continuous and rapid expansion of data access, the spread of the web, open source, and related enabling technologies globally. This data access and knowledge are going up geometrically, not linearly, and expanding rapidly to where few can keep up, including the power brokers, who in many cases had inherited, privileged, and exclusive access for centuries. Now we see dot-com billionaires spring up overnight, many of whom are not from the former established past or present aristocratic 1% moneyed class in the US and elsewhere. Such educated, free-thinking, and creative persons would have been burned at the stake 300 years ago, but now they are quickly displacing the old and stagnant aristocratic families as time and data access rapidly progresses.

    By analogy, Prometheus (web) has given today's world population fire, and no matter what the Gods of Olympus wish, it's now too late to stop the access to data and expansion of knowledge. Picture today's world population access to data as a rapidly moving normal distribution curve, with access always increasing for the vast majority that occupy and fall within the 68% population mean. Those that occupy the leading plus 1 to 2, and 2 to 3 standard deviations above the mean are no longer the former inherited and privileged upper class, rather those intelligence-gifted randomly occurring in a population of billions of people. Centuries past the curve may have been bi-modal, with one tiny, tiny curve representing the aristocratic holders of data, knowledge, and power, and the much larger, massive following curve representing the vast majority of peasant population that had little or no education, no data access, and no knowledge, where superstitions, folklore, and divine right blood related aristocrats ruled in place of knowledge. Times are changing.

    normal_curve.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Black Swan wrote: »
    But technology cannot be removed, and although Webster may have merit in the short-run microcosm, in the long-run macrocosm he is in error. Certainly privileged wealthy and powerful groups attempt to keep access to their decision-making information proprietary (i.e., "knowledge is power"), but it's now too late to stop the continuous and rapid expansion of data access, the spread of the web, open source, and related enabling technologies globally. This data access and knowledge are going up geometrically, not linearly, and expanding rapidly to where few can keep up, including the power brokers, who in many cases had inherited, privileged, and exclusive access for centuries. Now we see dot-com billionaires spring up overnight, many of whom are not from the former established past or present aristocratic 1% moneyed class in the US and elsewhere. Such educated, free-thinking, and creative persons would have been burned at the stake 300 years ago, but now they are quickly displacing the old and stagnant aristocratic families as time and data access rapidly progresses.

    There are certainly more opportunities now than there ever was before, no question. Might be a bit off topic, but the dot-com billionaires, would they not become pretty much digital age aristocrats themselves?
    By analogy, Prometheus (web) has given today's world population fire, and no matter what the Gods of Olympus wish, it's now too late to stop the access to data and expansion of knowledge. Picture today's world population access to data as a rapidly moving normal distribution curve, with access always increasing for the vast majority that occupy and fall within the 68% population mean. Those that occupy the leading plus 1 to 2, and 2 to 3 standard deviations above the mean are no longer the former inherited and privileged upper class, rather those intelligence-gifted randomly occurring in a population of billions of people. Centuries past the curve may have been bi-modal, with one tiny, tiny curve representing the aristocratic holders of data, knowledge, and power, and the much larger, massive following curve representing the vast majority of peasant population that had little or no education, no data access, and no knowledge, where superstitions, folklore, and divine right blood related aristocrats ruled in place of knowledge. Times are changing.

    normal_curve.jpg

    The above would suggest that the influx of information and its availability would mean that we just have more of it. In that case would 'more information' really herald a 'new' society to what has come before? If the information society is a different society, then at some point society has changed. According to Manuel Castells (1989) & Anthony Giddens (1985) , we made this change from post-industrialist to the information society in the early 1970s. I am not so sure.

    While there may be more easily accessible information out there, and the systems of governance and economics have adapted with technology. Society itself still fundamentally operates the same as it did in the early 1970s (and before). If post-industrialism was the last society (prior to the information society), then could we consider that as a new (or different) society when transitions ocurred from pre-industrialism to industrialism?

    Castells, M. The Informational City: Information Technology, Economic Restructuring and the Urban Regional Process (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).

    Giddens,A. The Nation-State and Violence: Volume Two of a Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism (Cambridge: Polity, 1985).


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,231 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    mzungu wrote: »
    The above would suggest that the influx of information and its availability would mean that we just have more of it. In that case would 'more information' really herald a 'new' society to what has come before? If the information society is a different society, then at some point society has changed. According to Manuel Castells (1989) & Anthony Giddens (1985) , we made this change from post-industrialist to the information society in the early 1970s. I am not so sure.
    If the shift from post-industrial to information society is occurring, or has occurred, it's doubtful that it all of a sudden crossed the line, that line more than likely being drawn in the sand. John Naisbitt (1982) in Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives used content analysis of key publications around the world to analyze what he called megatrends, and suggested that for the USA "We have shifted from an industrial society to one based on the creation and distribution of information." On 24 June 2012 Patrick Reddy concluded "This was Naisbitt's biggest, most important and most accurate prediction." Home computers in 1982 were at 10%, and in 2012 80%; as well as a shift from manufacturing jobs of about half of the 1950 labour force to about 12% today, while the information industry displaced manufacturing shifting from a tiny percentage back then to almost half of the labour force today.
    mzungu wrote: »
    The above would suggest that the influx of information and its availability would mean that we just have more of it. In that case would 'more information' really herald a 'new' society to what has come before?
    Does this observation suggest that more information access does not ensure more valid and reliable uses of that information? This critique may have merit. Then again, something has been happening for the first time in American society, perhaps in the world, and it's yet another megatrend that I do not recall Naisbitt labeling as one, that may function to aid in the collection, analysis, and use of such increased information access today. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education the enrollment and graduation percentages of women in American accredited colleges and universities has risen from about a third (occurring post-WWII) to over half of all enrollments and graduations today, surpassing male enrollments and graduations. The same shift by gender has occurred in accredited college and university business schools, where today women enrollments and graduations both exceed half, once again surpassing male enrollments and graduations.

    I have not been able to find other nations exhibiting such a substantial increase of women in higher education in the world, nor could I find an historical precedent for such a megatrend, leading me to think that we have absolutely no idea what may happen as a result; i.e., no history to repeat itself as a predictive or explanatory paradigm. Is this substantial shift towards the higher education of women in America part of the substance that makes for information society, or was this merely a coincidental shift, or what?


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Black Swan wrote: »
    If the shift from post-industrial to information society is occurring, or has occurred, it's doubtful that it all of a sudden crossed the line, that line more than likely being drawn in the sand. John Naisbitt (1982) in Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives used content analysis of key publications around the world to analyze what he called megatrends, and suggested that for the USA "We have shifted from an industrial society to one based on the creation and distribution of information." On 24 June 2012 Patrick Reddy concluded "This was Naisbitt's biggest, most important and most accurate prediction." Home computers in 1982 were at 10%, and in 2012 80%; as well as a shift from manufacturing jobs of about half of the 1950 labour force to about 12% today, while the information industry displaced manufacturing shifting from a tiny percentage back then to almost half of the labour force today.

    He pretty much had it spot on. No doubt he would have taken his queues from Daniel Bell on that. On the issue of jobs, with the information age helping globalisation, does the less secure jobs market of today hold more advantages over ones 50 years ago, when jobs may have been more secure. Granted, there was not half as many of them.
    Does this observation suggest that more information access does not ensure more valid and reliable uses of that information? This critique may have merit. Then again, something has been happening for the first time in American society, perhaps in the world, and it's yet another megatrend that I do not recall Naisbitt labeling as one, that may function to aid in the collection, analysis, and use of such increased information access today. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education the enrollment and graduation percentages of women in American accredited colleges and universities has risen from about a third (occurring post-WWII) to over half of all enrollments and graduations today, surpassing male enrollments and graduations. The same shift by gender has occurred in accredited college and university business schools, where today women enrollments and graduations both exceed half, once again surpassing male enrollments and graduations.

    I have not been able to find other nations exhibiting such a substantial increase of women in higher education in the world, nor could I find an historical precedent for such a megatrend, leading me to think that we have absolutely no idea what may happen as a result; i.e., no history to repeat itself as a predictive or explanatory paradigm. Is this substantial shift towards the higher education of women in America part of the substance that makes for information society, or was this merely a coincidental shift, or what?

    I think the shift might have more to do with the fight for equal rights, rather than any kind of knock on effect from the information society. Where I think it may have a role to play was in creating a more affluent and larger middle class thereby offering more opportunities for more people to go to college. This link gives a good overview: (http://www.ibtimes.com/why-are-more-women-men-going-college-213255). That said, and something I mentioned above, the downside to the information economy is that the boom and bust nature of it can set things back quite a bit when things go wrong, leaving those on the financial borderline struggling. Overall though, I think the various movements down through the decades had a greater influence on the current gender disparities in education. The current gender disparity first started to appear in the early 1980s, so, it was a happening a long time before todays information society. Of course, one might say the early 1980s was an information society too, but just not on the scale of what we have today. I would like to hear Naisbitt's take on it though.

    That point does deal with themes of responsibility regarding the thought behind whether or not the abundance of information available to us is actually a good thing. Enlightenment values might tell us that it is, but this might not necessarily be the case. Tsoukas (1997) reminds us that knowledge has always been seen as a danger for those that have it. He reminds us Prometheus was punishing for stealing it whilst Adam and Eve were expelled for eating at the tree of knowledge. He stops short of going down the route of a giving us an overtly negative critique of the effects of the information society, but does want us to be aware that it can 'obscure the 'paradoxes that are inherent in human knowledge'. We need to be aware those paradoxes may refine our ability to reflect on them and-who knows?-may enable us to find more sophisticated ways of coping with them'. Essentially, the upsides and the downsides may not be separate sides of the coin, but in reality are the one side of the coin. It being our best interests take heed of this, less we believe unfiltered access to information requires no responsibility on our part.

    Tsoukas, H. (1997). The tyranny of light: The temptations and the paradoxes of the information society. Futures, 29(9), 827-843.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    Intellectual property. Traded. New ideas for coin. Francis Bacon aware during 1500's. Ancient Greeks before. New or prevalence? From knowledge of few, to knowledge of many (society) today?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Fathom wrote: »
    Intellectual property. Traded. New ideas for coin. Francis Bacon aware during 1500's. Ancient Greeks before. New or prevalence? From knowledge of few, to knowledge of many (society) today?
    The knowledge of many has lead us to this point in capitalism today, aided of course by ICT's that allow it to be a global, rather than localised market.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,231 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    This makes me wonder to what extent the move to "information society" exemplifies the spirit and intent of Max Weber's march towards rationalisation (Economy and Society, 1922), where the expansion of verifiable and reliable information has spread from centuries old clerical accounting books kept by monks to global access of such information by anyone with web and search engine hookups, along with apps that help evaluate data?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    Black Swan wrote: »
    This makes me wonder to what extent the move to "information society" exemplifies the spirit and intent of Max Weber's march towards rationalisation (Economy and Society, 1922), where the expansion of verifiable and reliable information has spread from centuries old clerical accounting books kept by monks to global access of such information by anyone with web and search engine hookups, along with apps that help evaluate data?
    "Iron cage" or "Shell of bondage" per Max Weber in Economy & Society, 1922 translation?


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Black Swan wrote: »
    This makes me wonder to what extent the move to "information society" exemplifies the spirit and intent of Max Weber's march towards rationalisation (Economy and Society, 1922),
    Good point. I would agree that it does, very much so in fact. I think it would be nearly impossible to imagine our "information society" (and all that it entails) sans the efficiency and organisational structures of rationalisation. It could be said it was one of the main building blocks that made the entire process possible.
    Black Swan wrote: »
    where the expansion of verifiable and reliable information has spread from centuries old clerical accounting books kept by monks to global access of such information by anyone with web and search engine hookups, along with apps that help evaluate data?
    The switch from older methods (clerical accounting etc) to new (ICT) is a tricky one. Webster (2014) asks was it the incorporation of ICT's at the personal level, or the institutional organisational incorporation of ICT's on a grand scale that heralded this shift? His question is, if the ICT is the "information society", then can we pinpoint the time that we moved into this new era?

    Webster has an interesting point. Could we choose one specific era in the modern digital age for the turn, or would we need to go back further a few decades? Overall, Webster believes it is hard to pick one out, mainly because we still find technological influence to be "vague" and not easily describable, hence our trouble in locating the exact time this change occurred due to technological advancements.


    Webster, F., 2014. Theories of the information society. Routledge. Vancouver.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,231 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    Fathom wrote: »
    "Iron cage" or "Shell of bondage" per Max Weber in Economy & Society, 1922 translation?
    My understanding of the Iron Cage would suggest that there was no escape from the increasing rationalisation of society in very general terms; whereas, the Shell of Bondage was a very specific instance that suggested employee fringe benefits functioned to attract, retain, and bind employees to a corporation (Krueger, PE, 1988, Structural Differentiation, Technology, & Employee Fringe Benefits: A Model of Formal Organization. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University PhD Dissertation).
    mzungu wrote: »
    Webster has an interesting point. Could we choose one specific era in the modern digital age for the turn, or would we need to go back further a few decades? Overall, Webster believes it is hard to pick one out, mainly because we still find technological influence to be "vague" and not easily describable, hence our trouble in locating the exact time this change occurred due to technological advancements.
    Compounded with this, may there be city, national, or regional differences that may experience differential rates of rationalisation transitioning from Weberian traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal in comparison to other parts of the world? Ali Al Katheeri (2017) in his UAE emiratisation study at California State University Fullerton suggests in his conceptual model that UAE was rapidly transitioning from tribal (traditional) to national founding (charismatic) to 2030 Strategic Plan (rational-legal) at an alarming rate, which has resulted in the employment of foreign nationals exceeding the population of UAE citizens several times to expedite this transitional process. In a few short decades UAE has gone from disorganised tribes living in tents and riding camels to the building of 21st Century cities like Dubai with the world's highest skyscraper and a suburb called Internet City.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Black Swan wrote: »
    My understanding of the Iron Cage would suggest that there was no escape from the increasing rationalisation of society in very general terms; whereas, the Shell of Bondage was a very specific instance that suggested employee fringe benefits functioned to attract, retain, and bind employees to a corporation (Krueger, PE, 1988, Structural Differentiation, Technology, & Employee Fringe Benefits: A Model of Formal Organization. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University PhD Dissertation).


    Compounded with this, may there be city, national, or regional differences that may experience differential rates of rationalisation transitioning from Weberian traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal in comparison to other parts of the world? Ali Al Katheeri (2017) in his UAE emiratisation study at California State University Fullerton suggests in his conceptual model that UAE was rapidly transitioning from tribal (traditional) to national founding (charismatic) to 2030 Strategic Plan (rational-legal) at an alarming rate, which has resulted in the employment of foreign nationals exceeding the population of UAE citizens several times to expedite this transitional process. In a few short decades UAE has gone from disorganised tribes living in tents and riding camels to the building of 21st Century cities like Dubai with the world's highest skyscraper and a suburb called Internet City.
    It makes me wonder if various mineral rich African nations (e.g. Congo) could have developed at a similar pace with proper governance post-colonialism.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 47,231 CMod ✭✭✭✭Black Swan


    mzungu wrote: »
    It makes me wonder if various mineral rich African nations (e.g. Congo) could have developed at a similar pace with proper governance post-colonialism.
    There are complex cultural, sociological, political, and economic reasons that affect the differential development rates of every nation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭Sudance


    mzungu wrote: »
    Sociologist Daniel Bell (1974) suggested that we were beginning to move towards an economy where knowledge was a commodity. This has been viewed by many as a foreshadowing of the 'information society'. Although no straight definition exists, the term 'information society' generally refers to the important role of information in our lives (Webster 1994).

    In this world where information is now currency in the global economy, it has been suggested that the 'information society' is the successor to the Industrial Revolution.

    There is no doubt that information is a key part of modern life. But what is doubt, is whether or not this is something completely new or merely a continuation of an older form?

    Bell, D. (1974) The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

    Webster, F. (1994) What Information Society? The Information Society, Vol. 10(1), pp. 1-23.

    Knowledge, since the dawn of mankind has always been a commodity, hence the phrase "knowledge is power". Sadly, with the decline of intellect (and increase in tech), knowledge is fast becoming a useless commodity to the vast majority, except to an ever increasing smaller group/s.

    Information (and knowledge) had greater value in the past simply because is was difficult to come by. And it's certainly not new, sure even the bees exchange information (via dance) as to where the best sources of pollen is.Other animals exchange information also, so it's clearly not even unique to us humans :)

    A far more appropriate "age" to label us with would be the "Plastic age" or "oil age" (yeh I know..same thing lol) and we won't be remembered fondly for it either..we're not even close to being the Information age. (sorry to lazy to go back and edit, I meant society. in order to be labelled an age there needs to be a physical mark on the earth that future geologists can clearly define)

    The information society will be the generations (being born now/last 5 years or so) that can avail of quantum computing...it might even be sooner giving how fast they're advancing.

    Compared to the amount of information quantum computers will be able to generate and process, we're pretty much still using the abacus today..Also, there will be so much information being thrown at us, and life will be moving so rapidly that the human brain will be far too slow to process all the information that's been thrown at us...the only way to keep up with it will be to physically attached to a variety of devices...then we'll be truly "connected". not to each other, but to the rivers of information being fed to us....

    There won't be room in one's day to day life for "knowledge" and anyway, our quantum devices will be our "intellect"...

    Scary stuff....See what guttenburg started with that damn press of his! :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭Sudance


    Black Swan wrote: »
    Now we see dot-com billionaires spring up overnight,

    Oh that's soooo 1990's. And back then overnight was at least a year...maybe three or four...Today's overnight billionaires, really are making it literally over night...ok...maybe a week...two at a stretch ha ha..


  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭Sudance


    "while the information industry displaced manufacturing shifting from a tiny percentage back then to almost half of the labour force today."

    Err this might be how it seems but that's not what actually happened...and the shift was nothing to do with encroachment of information. Industry just moved the jobs to Asia/India etc..that's all

    Take a look at any US city that was involved in industry of any sort...they've tumbleweed rolling through the main streets today and rusting to bits...

    I thought this was pretty much common knowledge by now..

    Or have I completely misread and misunderstood the point you were making?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    Sudance wrote: »
    Or have I completely misread and misunderstood the point you were making?
    Industry redefined. Shift. From hardware to software. From hammers to thoughts. Information industry displaces others. In transition today. Those left behind must retrain. Shift too. If they cannot. Then children must.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Sudance wrote: »
    Knowledge, since the dawn of mankind has always been a commodity, hence the phrase "knowledge is power". Sadly, with the decline of intellect (and increase in tech), knowledge is fast becoming a useless commodity to the vast majority, except to an ever increasing smaller group/s.

    Information (and knowledge) had greater value in the past simply because is was difficult to come by. And it's certainly not new, sure even the bees exchange information (via dance) as to where the best sources of pollen is.Other animals exchange information also, so it's clearly not even unique to us humans :)

    A far more appropriate "age" to label us with would be the "Plastic age" or "oil age" (yeh I know..same thing lol) and we won't be remembered fondly for it either..we're not even close to being the Information age. (sorry to lazy to go back and edit, I meant society. in order to be labelled an age there needs to be a physical mark on the earth that future geologists can clearly define)
    I would tend to agree, a lot of information society theorists can at times struggle to identify where this change took place. I tend to row in with the idea that we have entered a new era of capitalism (made possible by ICT) but this does not mean we have entered a new society. For example, Daniel Bell in The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973) suggests society will enter into a services and information led economy, or what he calls the Post-Industrial society. However, if Post-Industrial society can be recognised by the increased use and dependence on information, then, as Frank Webster (2014) notes, it is not a new society at all, because there has always been information. Instead, what we have is a continuation of what came before, and not any kind of major split with how we did things 100 years ago.


    Frank Webster (2014) Theories of the Information Society. 4th edition. London: Routledge


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    mzungu wrote: »
    In this world where information is now currency in the global economy, it has been suggested that the 'information society' is the successor to the Industrial Revolution.
    John Naisbitt & Patricia Aburdene reported in Megatrends (1982) a major shift from industrial society to "information society." Primarily occurring in more developed nations. Shift impacted organizational structures moving from hierarchies to networking, and from centralization to decentralization. The Internet/web was an example of this shift. Naisbitt & Aburdene also suggested this shift to exhibit a move from short term to long term. I believe this was in error. For example, the Internet/web allows for rapid, global sharing of information, discoveries, and synchronicities, the latter producing creative leaps, not long term delays. Anecdotally, we discussed this today in coffee group. Information society rapidity has been expanding geometrically. None of us can keep up. Consequently, we niche specialize to survive.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Fathom wrote: »
    John Naisbitt & Patricia Aburdene reported in Megatrends (1982) a major shift from industrial society to "information society." Primarily occurring in more developed nations.

    Some have argued (eg. Daniel Bell, Manuel Castells) that this be viewed as a shift to something completely new, or instead is it merely a new phase in capitalism? The fundamentals of capitalism is still there, if the information society is on a par with the industrial revolution, the question could be asked why does it not all that different to what came before?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    mzungu wrote: »
    Some have argued (eg. Daniel Bell, Manuel Castells) that this be viewed as a shift to something completely new, or instead is it merely a new phase in capitalism? The fundamentals of capitalism is still there, if the information society is on a par with the industrial revolution, the question could be asked why does it not all that different to what came before?
    Frank Webster suggests several Theories of Information Society (4th edition 2014). Claims origin 4 decades ago. E-society driven by information. Debates rage between liabilities and benefits of rapidly increasing citizen information access. Deluge of trivia or increased education? Walking into walls distractions or socially improved networks or both?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Fathom wrote: »
    Frank Webster suggests several Theories of Information Society (4th edition 2014). Claims origin 4 decades ago. E-society driven by information. Debates rage between liabilities and benefits of rapidly increasing citizen information access. Deluge of trivia or increased education? Walking into walls distractions or socially improved networks or both?
    I think a good argument could be made for both, and like a lot of things, comes down to what the individual does themselves. All information was not created equal. For example, reading about some celebrity falling out of a nightclub at 5am counts as information, even though it is mindless gossip. At the same time, reading an article by an independent journalist (not embedded) in a war zone can be an illuminating experience and can give the reader insight into a conflict they may not have received from a Fox News report or some such. That is also information.

    What I will say is, in the public sphere (mainstream tv, newspapers etc) there is a hell of a lot more distraction and walking into walls information wise, it takes a bit of looking to get past it to something that is in some way objective.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    To what extent has "Information Society" been affecting major changes in the delivery of higher education? Will traditional, centuries old bricks-and-mortar institutions be replaced by virtual? Will paper bound books and journals be replaced by e-books and e-journals? Will expensive and rising tuition course offerings be replaced by edX free online courses?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Fathom wrote: »
    To what extent has "Information Society" been affecting major changes in the delivery of higher education? Will traditional, centuries old bricks-and-mortar institutions be replaced by virtual?
    It would appear that the university as we know it is here to stay, however, that does not mean it won't change into something a lot different. We will start to see a lot more "blended learning" courses. However, this will happen only in the developed world with proper internet infrastructure. It may in effect widen the digital divide between the developed and the developing world. A worrying trend if so.

    Good article on it here : http://time.com/3747816/education-chalkboard-chatroom/
    Fathom wrote: »
    Will paper bound books and journals be replaced by e-books and e-journals?
    On the one hand it appears to make financial sense for the university, but on the other some find ebooks discourage "deep learning". . It's a tough one, but I think economics will win the day in that regard.
    Fathom wrote: »
    Will expensive and rising tuition course offerings be replaced by edX free online courses?
    As long as the market is there, it most likely won't be free, but it may mean a significant reduction. It might be a case that colleges, like Stanford University, will recognise that free courses may go a long way to increasing their brand worth, and all the financial profits that will entail.

    Things will change, but for hard science subjects labs are always going to be needed so bricks and mortar universities will still be needed. Whatever changes will take place within that is anybody guess, but it is a process that is really only beginning now.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    mzungu wrote: »
    It would appear that the university as we know it is here to stay, however, that does not mean it won't change into something a lot different. We will start to see a lot more "blended learning" courses.
    D.R. Garrison and H. Kanuka (2004), in Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education, The Internet and Higher Education, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 95-105, agrees with your position. Transformation was happening. Bricks-and-mortar has been blending with web coursework into a hybrid of higher education.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Fathom wrote: »
    D.R. Garrison and H. Kanuka (2004), in Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education, The Internet and Higher Education, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 95-105, agrees with your position. Transformation was happening. Bricks-and-mortar has been blending with web coursework into a hybrid of higher education.
    Recently in Imperial College London, Engineering undergraduates took an online module in Business while they were physically present within the university. Thus far it has been a success, and this may lead to more courses being offered. This way students still attend lectures, but have the option of taking some of the course online and doing so in their own time.

    Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2016/01/29/blended-learning-the-future-of-higher-education/2/#63b4eb875b54


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    mzungu wrote: »
    Hybrid model. MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Plus campus bricks-and-mortar labs. Wave of future I would guess. Florida State University: "Over the next 10 years, you will observe how colleges like FSU are converting traditional course formats into online delivery so that more learning can occur in cyberspace."


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators, Regional South East Moderators, Regional North East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 9,063 CMod ✭✭✭✭Fathom


    Ubiquitous university Internet access has led to increased "fraudulence, plagiarism, falsification, delinquency, [and] unauthorized help" for students. Ref: Nor Shahriza AbdulKarim, Nurul Hidayah Ahmad Zamzuri, and Yakinah Muhamad Nor (2009) in Exploring the relationship between Internet ethics in university students and the big five model of personality, Computers & Education, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 86-93.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,307 Mod ✭✭✭✭mzungu


    Fathom wrote: »
    Ubiquitous university Internet access has led to increased "fraudulence, plagiarism, falsification, delinquency, [and] unauthorized help" for students.

    Ref: Nor Shahriza AbdulKarim, Nurul Hidayah Ahmad Zamzuri, and Yakinah Muhamad Nor (2009) in Exploring the relationship between Internet ethics in university students and the big five model of personality, Computers & Education, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 86-93.
    Tough one for universities, but perhaps the technology will improve in order to catch cheats across the big 5. For example,the online education site Corsera uses software that will recognise a students' typing speeds and rhythms and can be used to verify identity, preventing another party from taking an assessment on their behalf.


Advertisement