Information Revolutions Precede Social Revolutions: 1

CONservatives and many other educated morons seem to believe that “things never really change”. While they may deny this if you phrase the question bluntly, their actions and ideologies speak otherwise. Pretty much every ideology, CONservative, LIEbral etc is based on the assumption of a never-changing world. This does not imply that such primitive models of the world do not factor in the possibility of any change. However they model change as predictable, reversible, linear, exponential, cyclic and do not involve system evolution or metamorphosis. Experience suggests that changes are neither predictable, reversible, linear, exponential or cyclic.

The nature and direction of change is random and unpredictable.

Having said that, there is one meta-factor that affects the rate of change- The speed, amount, ease of information creation, dissemination and exchange.

Consider human history-

1] Was Civilization possible without the written word?

2] Was the ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Age of Discovery’ possible without the printing press? Was it the not widespread adoption of the printing press which gave the west its most important edge over others?

3] Why did the development of faster/ cheaper printing in the 1820s come just before the first stage of the industrial revolution?

4] Why did the adoption of even better printing technologies and the telegraph occur just before the start of the second stage of the industrial revolution (1850s-1860s)?

5] Why did the widespread use of typewriters, telegraphs, personal printing technologies (mimeographs, local telephony, radio occur near the beginning of the third stage of the industrial revolution in the 1910-20s?

I can give even more recent examples but it just provides more support to my hypothesis-

It is the availability, speed, access to newer and better modes of creating, spreading, accessing information (or content) that determine the speed of system evolution.

The reasoning behind my hypothesis is-

In a complex evolving system, more decentralized information = more changes, possibilities and adaptations which in turn can increase information flow (and decentralization). Will write more about this concept in a future post on this topic.


  1. Mike
    October 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Yes. The corporate-controlled media never told the truth about Wall Street. With blogs, the truth is being known about the bailouts. All of the lies about TARP are immediately refuted on blogs. Fewer people trust the media, and more are learning the truth.

    Precisely, it is the decentralization of information that facilitates progress. More decentralization = More progress.

    I wonder how long until people start killing bankers?

    Or make them redundant?

  1. October 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm
  2. October 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm
  3. November 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm
  4. February 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm
  5. June 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm
  6. September 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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