During my first year of law school in 1994, I began to explore the World Wide Web.  Netscape was almost unheard of, but their Navigator v1.1 was about to draw the world's attention to the most democratizing communications medium in the history of human-kind.  Regardless of the financial market aberration of the dot-com boom and bust, the Internet is no mere fad.  The information age is upon us. 

In his 1980 book, The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler describes post-industrial society, which he calls "the third wave."  In light of Toffler's theme, one can view the widespread use of the Internet  and information technologies as punctuating events in the third wave - much as the bronze age or the iron age can be seen as punctuating events in the agricultural revolution. 

It is interesting to think that technology innovation (such as fashioning crude implements from stone or basic metals) drove the enormous economic, social and political change that washed over human-kind in the form of the agricultural revolution.  Then more technology innovation (such as energy production and manufacturing processes) shook the foundations of the landed aristocracy and gave rise to the wealthy merchant class during the industrial revolution.  Currently, technology innovations related to information and communication are fueling the information age.  The richest man in the world doesn't sell anything at all - he lets you use his software in exchange for a license fee.  Interesting, isn't it? 

“Let’s face it, there’s only one thing you can clean with dry paper.”

– from a C|Net review of the Toto Washlet S300, a bolt on bidet for the executive washroom.  You will note that this quote no longer appears on the C|Net site.  I'm sure someone got called on the carpet for permitting this quote up in the first place.




Copyright    2011 Ashe Lockhart. All rights reserved.