GeorgeStrawnFall2007

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Published on December 25, 2007

Author: Cuthbert

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Technology, Culture and Globalization:  Technology, Culture and Globalization George O. Strawn NSF CIO Outline:  Outline Change Technology Globalization & nation states Culture Globalization & civilizations Conclusions Exponential Speedup in Change:  Exponential Speedup in Change 5,000,000,000 Solar system forms 500,000,000 Multi-cell life emerges 50,000,000 Mammals dominate 5,000,000 Human line separates 500,000 Big brains, fine tools, fire 50,000 Language, fully modern 5,000 Civ: writing, math, cities 500 Western Civ: printing 50 Electronic Computing Dividing up human history…:  Dividing up human history… Stone Age Up to 5,000 (bp) Bronze Age 5,000 bp to 3,000 bp Iron Age 3,000 bp to present Hunting & Gathering Up to 10,000 bp Agriculture 10,000 bp to 200 bp Automation 200 bp to present Big human changes:  Big human changes Language evolved ~100,000 bp Agriculture undertaken 10,000 bp Automation begun 200 bp Questions for historians:  Questions for historians From 5,000 bp until 200 bp: “why was innovation so slow?” Since 200 bp: “why is innovation so fast?” One historian’s Answer :  One historian’s Answer Before 200 bp, most people were engaged in subsistence agriculture (Just how much can you eat?) Since 200 bp, an increasing number of people (esp. in developed countries) are engaged in commerce and industry (Work hard or lose your job/business!) Leading up and into automation:  Leading up and into automation 500 bp: Renaissance & Reformation 400 bp: Science Revolution 300 bp: Commercial Revolution 200 bp: Industrial Revolution 100 bp: Information Revolution Information Technologies:  Information Technologies Writing: 5000/2500/500 bp 2500: Logic, rhetoric, literature 500: Printing Mathematics: 5000/2500/300 bp 2500: Euclid 300: Algebra + Geometry -> Calculus Computing: 150/100/50 bp 150: Telegraph, cash registers, bookkeeping 100: Electrical punched card data processing 50: Electronic computing The Printing Press as Agent of Change:  The Printing Press as Agent of Change Responsible for: Renaissance Protestant Reformation Science Revolution The Individual The Nation State Telecommunication Technology :  Telecommunication Technology In 1844, the Morse telegraph electrified telecommunications (beginning with a USG-funded line from Baltimore to DC!) In 1876, the Bell telephone electrified the human voice (for short distances only) In the early 1900s, the wireless telegraph resulted from Maxwell’s Equations In the 1920s, radio went on the air (followed by television in the 1940s) Other Technologies:  Other Technologies The steam engine: 18-19th century Steam ships Steam locomotives Factories Internal combustion: 19-20th century Diesel ships, locomotives Autos, trucks, tractors Airplanes Electric motor: 19-20th century US Agricultural Technologies:  US Agricultural Technologies 1800: Farmers were more than 90% of the population 1800s: John Deere and Silas McCormack mechanized farming with better horse-drawn implements Late 1800s: Railroads delivered ag products 1900s: The steam and internal combustion engines, and hybridization, fertilizers and pesticides drastically improved yields 2000: Farming is almost all science and technology, almost no labor! (< 3% labor force) Rise of the western nation state:  Rise of the western nation state Gun powder technology plus printing press supported “bigness” Feudalism couldn’t survive the siege cannon and couldn’t afford large armies “The international system of states, multinational corporations and organizations which exists today began in 1648 at Westphalia” Modern nationalization:  Modern nationalization Transcontinental railroad and telegraph grew up together These two technologies enabled nation-wide business and commerce (including improved commercial agriculture) In the presence of national scale business, the Federal government greatly expanded in size and importance The nation state was greatly changed Trans-nationalization:  Trans-nationalization The telecommunications and transportation revolutions of the 20th century have created the transnational corporation, just as those of the 19th century created the national corporation A transnational governance will is emerging, just as a (more robust) national governance emerged 100 years ago Bold New World:  Bold New World “There is now little question that future historians will mark the 21st century as the last act of the large nation state drama.” Can the nation state deal with terrorism? The US federation may be saved from the most traumatic change (states rights!) Devolution and globalization: EU, NAFTA, world court, world trade organization Culture pushes back:  Culture pushes back The “rise of the west” beginning 500 years ago led to western domination of the world by 1900 The “warring states” of Europe self-destructed their global hegemony in the 20th century The end of the cold war did not produce one world: it produced nine or ten Flat world--Cultural Changes?:  Flat world--Cultural Changes? 11/9/89 (Berlin Wall) + PCs 8/9/95 (Netscape goes public) Work Flow Software (XML, SOAP, WSDL) Open Source (Linux, Apache) Outsourcing (India) Triple Convergence Offshoring (China) Level Playing Field Supply-Chaining (Wal-Mart) Collaboration Insourcing (UPS) New Players In-forming (Google, Yahoo) Digital, Mobile, Personal, Virtual Freidman’s Law of McDonalds?:  Freidman’s Law of McDonalds? “No two countries with mcdonalds have gone to war with each other” But, just before WWI, Norman Angell predicted there would be no war because leaders in the European states realized how much was at stake economically His mistake was to assume that a rational cost-benefit calculation would prevail over powerful emotional tides that can move populations (eg, religion in our day) Clash of civilizations:  Clash of civilizations The free world versus godless communism then; the world of Islam versus the godless west now? Western, African, Sinic, Hundu, Islamic, Japanese, Latin American, Orthodox Modernization versus Westernization? Are the modernizing civilizations undergoing cultural revolutions? Culture Matters:  Culture Matters Harrison identifies 26 cultural characteristics that either promote or deter modernization (eg, respect for work, punctuality, equality versus freedom, … ) He claims the Confusion, Hindu and Catholic cultures are experiencing major changes that permit modernization (“to get rich is glorious”) Culture changes slowly:  Culture changes slowly Major technological changes occur on the order of centuries Major cultural changes occur on the order of millennia The cultural changes from hunting and gathering societies to farming societies were profound; will the changes to automation societies be any less so? Long range view?:  Long range view? 50 Kurzweil’s sigularity? 500 A new civilization? 5,000 A new ice age? 50,000 ? 500,000 ? 5,000,000 ? 50,000,000 A new meteor? 500,000,000 ? 5,000,000,000 The sun dies Conclusions:  Conclusions Modern times really are different! Only the third phase of humanity From the agricultural revolution to beginning of civilization was 5000 years From the automation revolution to a “new civilization” will be how many years? Can we survive until then (eg, pollution, extinctions, pandemics, terrorists, wmd)? Some books:  Some books All books by Thomas P. Hughes From Dawn to Decadence, Barzun Maps of Time, Christian To Light Such a Candle, Laidler Information Ages, Hobart & Shiffman The New Renaissance, Robertson The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen Seeing What’s Next, Christensen et al Understanding Media, McLuan Some more…:  Some more… Bold New World, Knoke Global Communications Since 1844, Hugill Globalization, Technology and Competition, Bradley, Hausman and Nolan The Twilight of Sovereignty, Wriston The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Landes Saving Capitalism, Rajan & Zingales The Mind and the Market, Muller The Soul of Capitalism, Greider And more…:  And more… The Printing Press as Agent of Change, Eisenstein The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil The Central Liberal Truth, Harrison The Clash of Civilizations, Huntington The Masks of God, Campbell The View from the Center of the Universe, Primack & Abrams The World is Flat, Friedman End of the Line, Lynn

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