At TechCrunch Disrupt, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and avc.com fame said that the Internet is about to embark on it’s social revolutionary age. He mentioned a two or three quick historical annecdotes of technology moving us forward via infrastructure first, then applied technology on the infratructure with the final phase being the social changes due to the convergence of the two.
That may be a sound bite sized over-simplification but is fundamentally correct. Too often history is forgotten when dealing with the present because of humans natural tendency to overvaluing what is happening at the moment. We fail to see similarities to prior times of technological change. Specifically, the technology community shuns the past and tends to look forward. It is as though the past has no value. It feels like history and anthropology have value in technology simply becuae no one pays attention to them.
Is the Arab Spring, the first salvo in the Internets final phase of social disruption?
I’m not going to give the world a history lesson, but just think of the following mega-trend technological changes and the change they may have affected:
– The train
– The steam engine
– The telegraph
– Nuclear power
– Jet engine
– Assembly line
– Air travel
– Interchangable parts manufacture
– Genetic engineering in food
– Refridgeration/air conditioning
– Combustion engine
Please feel free to add to the list or call me crazy.