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The Information Revolution In Modern Society

The information revolution has been under way for quite many tears now and is transforming society round the world into a more matured and enlightened civilization than should transcend the original vision that even Nehru and others had only dimly seen.

If our sudden new world of all-pervasive, instantaneous information could be embraced in a single metaphor, it might be Alice’s leap thought the looking glass. We still inhabit a physical world created by the industrial revolution but less are our jobs or pastimes and perceptions or imagination really shaped and increasingly government by that world; it is by the world of another revolution in which a striker’s face in Poland is visible California before the word he speaks has passed from his moth, and in which the entire arena of a distant specialized library can be summoned at the keyboard.

Call it an emerging information culture. Surely one keynote of such a culture is that our image of the world is formed less and less but direct experience, increasingly by media generated –or “mediated”- experience. Since the bards who sang the Homeric poems, this has always been the case with culture. What makes ours different is the erosion of implicit authority in the sources of that mediation. With TV and now micro-computers, cassettes, two-way cable, and satellites-and barely glimpsed technologies of the future like biography-we have the opportunity, unknown in history, to shape our own mediated experiences of the world.

The industrial revolution acting upon the physical world of 19th century has created numerous landscapes and cities. It has created an awesome new array of material goods. It accomplished this by three processes to which everything organic or non-organic was applied- mechanization quantification and consolidation. The information acts on our senses, our psyches, our collective knowledge of the world and on ourselves. Its processes are applied with equal rigor to everything in its reach, but the nature of these processes is quire different from the industrial revolution. These are merely quite different form the industrial revolution. These armory mediation which plats the ever-expanding role of us; simulation-the effort, scarcely limited information techniques but spearheaded by them , to recreate of perceptible world, and all natural experience, with increasingly heightened fidelity, and finally, circularity in which the mediated version and the real events whip round like the poles of a spinning magneto charging and changing history.

International Holography Conference:

At an International Holography Conference recently hundreds of young holographers  the contemporary equivalent of photographers circa in 1829, stood at awe at one exhibit, by a Russian holographers. A lion’s head was projected in a glass cube, so vividly that one could see the burnish colors of the under hair stiffening on its mane: “as large as life and twice as natural”. This achievement, a tremendous leap beyond the exhibited sate-of –the-art in the world’s biography, achieves something of the dream of today’s biographers: to reproduce the visual world with an uncanny “twice as natural “ fidelity. To speak with such pioneers is to tastethier excitement, t be touched by their dream. Yet what does that dream and the future portend?

In “The Machine Steps,” a mordant short story by E. M. Forster written some 20 years before commercial television, “the world’s inhabitants all reside in tiny, private cells where all interpersonal contact is made thought the ubiquitous and Godlike machine. The physical body and atrophied to slug like indifferent; curiosity, passion, and adventure are unknown people mostly lecture of ingest others’ lectures on subjects that have been stripped of any contamination by direct experience. When the machine stops, humanity’s collective breath expires.”

Already television has made Forster’s story disturbingly recent, and the system now appearing on the market such as two-way cable and video-computer hookups will certainly encourage major shifts of habit and movement, as the industrial revolution reacted modern travel, the information revolution conceivably might extinguish it. Of corset he questions raised by this revolution-ranging from educating to politics-will often themselves see laughably obsolete in a five- or ten-year generation. Ii is important to phrase these questions in a context than doesn’t depict these technologies as absolutely unique in history or anywise more fatalistic than the printing press- in effect, to see them in the light of their own tradition.

Toward a History of Information:

It was Josef Goebbels who said, “We speak not to express ourselves to elicit desired response.” With bold exachtness,this remark conveys the psychology of the propagandist, whether of a P. T. barium or a Madison Avenue copywriter or an ideologue press worker-and not only of these, but of a wider, grater shading o publicists, newscaster, film-makers etc. “ Media bias” has come to mean things more universal and more intransigent than  the old notion of “propaganda”, form the problems of distortion in the broadcasting of a news story to the effects of newly created television shows being broadcast in developing courtiers.

We perceive it quite ambiguously, almost interchangeably; yet a deletion “picture” is as unlike a photograph as Chicago’s circuitry of rails, circa 1920, was to the hitching posts that lined its widest streets 50 years before. The phantom electron has today transformed not only our media of information but the nature of information itself. Previously all recorded knowledge, on way or the , was in transcription,; the phantom electron has made information an act. in television, it is the act of an ever resembling picture, formed by 50 scanning beams a second; in the computer it is the act of endless binary yes-no “decisions” through a shuttle of a thousand million circuits; in both censes we are recipients of a process that’s invisible and in tome ways like electricity, still inscrutable. One could argue. as McLuhan and Ong and other say, that there have been three critical stages in the evolution of information: thornily recorded alphabet, the printing press, and the electronic medial (Ong has even parallel these stages, fascinatingly , to the Freudian oral-anal-genital stages.) In the alphabet the supply of information was restricted to the hand, in the prating press to the mechanical devices of the time. With electronic, all restrictions lay outside the media; the processing potentiality of interlinked cable/TV and computer introduce a threshold past which we akin scarcely imagine other threshold-in effect a concept of the infinite.