MIT 1700 Lecture Week 5 February 1, 2011
- Information Society
- What is it? How can we define it? Who is not part of the Information Society?
- Competing Definitions of Information Society
- “A society that organizes itself around knowledge in the interest of social control and
the management of innovation and change” - Daniel Bell
- “The information society is an economic reality and not simply a mental abstraction;
new activities, operations, and products gradually come to light.” - John Naisbitt
- “A society where information is used as an economic resource” - Nick Moore
- “A new type of society where the possession of information (and not material wealth) is
the driving force behind its transformation and development and where human
intellectual creativity flourishes.” - Yoneji Masuda
- “A new type of society in which humanity has the opportunity to lead a new way of life,
to have a higher standard of living, accomplish better work, and to play a better role in
society thanks to the global use of information and telecommunication technologies.” -
- Summary of Definitons
- Definitions based on:
- Resources (natural, human)
- society and people
- Commodity Culture has been improved by Information Society by: now being able to purchase
- Info. Society has made it easier for business to market their products and target them to
- Industries that have emerged because of Information Society:
- Google, search engines
- IT anything
- Information Society seems to promise that things will become better for all of us, make life
better. We will have more democracy, not less. (?)
- Info. Society is creating huge changes in societies in general. Hopefully moving towards
democratic freedoms, adding to affluence (abundant wealth) of our lives.
When does Information Society begin?
- Some say late 18th century, others 19th century, and still others far off into the future.
- John Naisbitt and Alvin Toffler claim the ‘tipping point’ in the US that made it Info. Society
was in the late 1950’s.
- Therefore theorists not in agreement over when Info Society started.
- How Information Society was measured
- In 1950’s by number of telephones
- Today, by the number of cell phones and how many people are connected to Internet.
- Do quantitative (abundant) increases in information and information technology equal a
qualitative change (better quality) in our society and the way we live?
Daniel Bell’s Information Society Table
- Mode of Production:
- PreIndustrial: Extractive
- Industrial: Fabrication MIT 1700 Lecture Week 5 February 1, 2011
- Post-Industrial: Processing
- Transforming Resource:
- PreIndustrial: Natural Power (wind, water, animals, muscle)
- Industrial: Created Energy (steam, electricity, coal)
- Post-Industrial: Information (computers)
- Strategic Resource:
- PreIndustrial: Raw materials
- Industrial: Financial Capital
- Post-Industrial: Knowledge
- PreIndustrial: Craft (clothes handmade)
- Industrial: Machine Technology
- Post-Industrial: Intellectual Technology (information over commodities)
- Tadeo Umesao (corresponds with Bell’s model)
- 3 sectors of economy:
- Endodermal: fishing, agriculture, farming
- Mesodermal: transportation, heavy industry
- Ectodermal: information, communication, training
- Yoneji Masuda’s Information Society Model
- Industrial Society
- steam power, physical labour, material production, goods and services, factories,
commodity economy, class society, labour movements, parliamentary democracy,
societal welfare, mass consumption, Renaissance values
- Information Society
- computer, mental labour, info production, info technology, data banks, networks,
synergetic economy, functional society, citizen movements, participatory democracy,
societal satisfaction, mass knowledge creation, globalizing values
- Do we really not have a class society anymore? no.
- Renaissance Values: self determination, take on different disciplines/interests, the
Enlightenment (Right Reason). Now we are thinking in a more global way. We aren’t just
thinking about ourselves anymore.
Schement and Curtis: 6 Categories of Info. Society
1. Information commodities
a. processes involved and related to production of commodities, can include such things as
efficient and organized methods of inventory, sophisticated marketing techniques. Now
easier for us to shop and sell.
2. Information Industry
a. manufacturing, production, distribution and consumption of info in a globally
3. Information Work
a. idea of ‘white collar revolution’ more labour shifted towards info based labour in a
knowledge economy. Majority of us will be employed as part of the knowledge economy
(social media, pr, law, business, engineering - contributing to knowledge economy and
prospering from it)
a. Our work environment becomes dependent on a large, efficiently distributed,
interconnected information network system. We need these networks in order to MIT 1700 Lecture Week 5 February 1, 2011
function. What would happen if Wall Street shut down for a week? If your bank went
offline for two days?
5. Parallel use of Several Media
a. Our ability to use a variety of media to corroborate info as well as organize and