“Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.” (Mao Tse-Tung, Chinese stateman)

 

A thought just struck me… a week into the journey, and we have driven through no less then 7 countries. However, we have hardly taken a minute to peruse the wonderful landscapes whizzing by our window. Instead, we have immersed ourselves in the equally wonderful world of the web.

Right now, if I was to take a quick glance to my left, I would be greeted with Switzerland’s magnificent Lake Gruyere. WOW, amazing! Back to work…

This networked bus is a testament to the hard work of the bus company (Ideas in Motion.) I mean, the atmosphere is such that we feel like we are in our very own office, and not, on a refurbished 17a Dublin Bus.

So, enough rambling, what’s my point? I guess, what I’m wondering is, to what extent has information technology (IT) effected our lives? And also how has it allowed us to find new meaning in our lives? Here goes…

In theses past few years, there has been an undisputable revolution in IT, and the already expeditious technological progression is hastening.

Innovation in, and ultimately adoption of, IT, has been supported by declining costs, technological improvement and increased competition. In looking back over the past say, five years, it is inextricably clear that information technologies have had a profound effect on numerous domains of society.

In part 2, I aim to focus on the effects on my personal and my fellow science ambassador’s lives. It should be noted that we have aboard a healthy blend of technology buff and technophobe. Although unique in so many ways, we are a regular clan, playing a small part in a wider social revolution.

The Rise and Rise…

There is likely more but, I can think of six exponential trends that are fueling this “revolution” (i.e. progression of IT in society) : 1.) The law of Photon, 2.) The age of Info Whelm, 3.) The Internet Revolution, 4.) Biotechnology, 5.) Nanotechnology and 6.) Moore’s Law.

It is inextricably clear that we are in the midst of a world altering virtual revolution.

According to Google, the World Wide Web is growing by a billion pages per day. The proliferation of Social Media is proof of a shift from hierarchies to networks. This transformation towards a network society, I feel, is as much organizational as a cultural question.

When looking at the growth of IT on a global level, figures and statistics can oft appear daunting and incomprehensive. To better understand the true impact of IT on society, one should look at it from a micro level.

Should I take a 360 degree sweep of the bus, I see my new friends tapping away on laptops. Scattered across the tables is an eclectic mix of technological paraphernalia;  dictophones, e-readers, Iphones, Ipods, cameras; hell, Kevin even has a pen which doubles as a scanner!

The ensuing innovations have, and going forward, will continue to have various social and economic impacts on family life and wider society. How we work, learn, communicate, entertain ourselves, interact with each other and socialize. For instance, when we where introduced to Amsterdam’s “Smart City” program, it highlighted the blurring of the lines between work and family life, but also how IT could, perhaps, diminish the role of cities.

So, technology and society are becoming inextricably interwoven. The aspects which have most relevance, to our team include; education, workplace and private life.

Onboard, we have 1 secondary school teacher, 2 university undergraduates, and 3 currently employed graduates. Ariff, the driver of the bus, is working towards an Open University Degree, by using distance learning.

Stay tuned for part 2, where I will expatiate on; just how IT affects the lives of each member of the team. Based on the derived extrapolations we will be presented with an accurate view of; how the IT Revolution is affecting our lives.

Until next time…

 

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