Human society is an evolving system. From time to time, there occurs
the equivalent of a phase shift, or more appropriately, a ¨cultural
discontinuity¨. In each case such a discontinuity is preceded by, and
caused by the emergence of a constellation of new technologies. During
and following such a discontinuity, previously existing cultural institutions
become modified, some abolished all together, while new ones arise.
Most of Europe and North America, and parts of the Western Pacific have
evolved into the ¨Communicative Era¨ a product of the Electronic
Revolution. This revolution was characterized by the development of devices
which used electricity or electro-magnetic radiation to communicate. It
is important to note the profound difference between the Industrial Revolution
and the Electronic Revolution. The former dealt with inventions and devices
which extended the human musculature. The latter, extended the human nervous
system. The lecture will focus on the impact of the Electronic Revolution
on institutions such as the state, the economy, and war.
An outgrowth of the Electronic Revolution is the Electronic Intelligence
Revolution. Coupled to modern communications systems, computers and other
forms of electronic intelligence are creating the equivalent of a global
One major consequence of such a development will be a marked rise in
the collective intelligence of human global society. The matter parallels
the introduction, in the 15th Century, of the printing press into Europe
which resulted in Europes technical ascendancy over the rest of the world.