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System Failure
Internet Civics 101
Digital Failure

Somethings Wrong
No Technocracy Zone

                                     Digital Failure

                     The failure of the Third Industrial Revolution
Digital Convergence )

Historians tell us that the first and second Industrial Revolution took place from the early 1800's to around 1930. The third Industrial Revolution started around 1974. The popular name for this period is called the information age. The promise of computers and the information highway have slowly evaporated into the apparent reality we are faced with today. Computers have had some very good positive impact, but that is mainly for businesses. Have computers taken any of the burden from the common man so he may live more of a life of leisure. Word processing, sending emails and web surfing can hardly be considered as burden lifting. Computer hardware and software technology has advanced in leaps and bounds every year but this doesn't really change much on the balance sheet of burden. Despite some of these advances we still conduct our lives the same way we did before the computer and the internet/web. For goodness sake, why are millions of us still commuting back and forth to work after having the internet around for 38 years and the web for 20 years? So what is holding us back? Computers are faster, smaller and more efficient than they've ever been. It would seem that they could literally run the world.  

So what is the problem? Many scientist and developers think we need to fix the internet or the web to get the information age back on track. This is far from the truth as I will demonstrate later. The information revolution is predicated on one and only one very important principal technology and that is digitization. Everything comes down to this one simple point. Most of the technologies we use today are digital. The problem is, they don't work together very well because of our old habits. They are non convergent or digitally divergent.


To drive home this point, I must turn to the father of the information age, Alec Reeves. His work on PCM was the final piece that gave birth to the information age. Without it, there would be no Internet, no digital radio or digital television, no digital land-line or mobile telephones, no CDs, DVDs or CD-ROMs. So digitization has to be the key. Alec laid out the road map for digitizing which left the process of integrating digitization into our society to us. So how do we change a world that is based on digital divergence to a world that is based on digital convergence? How do we change the polarity? This is the holy grail to Computer Science and this whole planet. There is nothing more important than this. It allows us to shatter that seemingly impossible barrier. The very nature of digitization allows itself to take many forms and to be separated into an infinite number of pieces. The pieces are the many different types of software, hardware, data, people, places, organizations, governments etc. Our world is fragmented into billions of little unconnected pieces. How can you possibly transform this whole mess into a form that computers can process? The internet is the only way to fix the problem. Ironically, the current state of the internet is not the problem, it is the solution. It is the only thing with  the ability to connect all the pieces together. Our problem stems from doing things the way we've done them for thousands of years in a non convergent fashion. This is mainly because computers and digitization were not around for us to care otherwise. That's how we got here. If we intend to move in a digital direction, we can no longer think and act analog. It will tear us apart. A point that I emphasize with great detail in a companion article - "Death by Technology". We mistakenly presume that by simply using digital technology that we must be moving in a digital direction, but we are not. We are only using digital technology with an analog mindset. This is only digital dressing if we don't change the what, why and how we do things. Obviously this situation negates the full benefits of digital technology. Alec changed the technological polarity of our world with digitization. Technology moved from having no base to having a base or a foundation if you may

The digital age is totally opposite from the age that preceded it. It is important to take note of that fact so we can thoroughly understand the failure of the revolution which will  allow us to understand the solution. The pre digital age which spans the first and second industrial revolution thrived in an environment that was divergent in almost every way. Just for the sake of this discussion we will call this period analog. Everything is based on separation and division. Technologically this is fine because the technology/inventions of this period did not have to work together, nor were they bound together by some common thread (a base or foundation). So for the age of analog, technological divergence worked perfectly. In fact, divergence was the method of problem solving of the day and still is. Divergence simplified bigger problems with a divide and conquer approach. It is the old break big problems down into ever smaller peaces until a resolution can be achieved.


In the digital age, the divide and conquer paradigm is not congruent to digitization except on a micro level, which gives us the best of both worlds. Divergence does not work for digitization because the technologies/inventions of the digital age are based on one important fundamental technology at its core, digitization. Digitization thrives in an environment of integration, communication and interaction. Divergence means death to all these things. Digitization of course is a huge step forward because now the technologies work together and talk to each other; which is a must if are to achieve the ultimate promise of the third industrial revolution.


The problem is that the fabric of our whole being is based on hundreds of years of building an analog world which is technologically fragmented into billions of little pieces. We've done what has come natural to us for hundreds to thousands of years. Because the polarity has been changed, we are now facing backwards, thinking we are moving forward, when in reality we are moving forward in the opposite direction. We don't have hundreds of years to deconstruct this problem. So what we're doing today is applying digital technology to a world that is digitally divergent (against digitization). There really is no easy fix to erase hundreds of years of divergence. We are not going to stumble our way into digital convergence. The problem is much too complicated for that.   

So how do we fix the problem? There is only one way. The answer is in a paradigm shift (P3 = Ph4O6). Paradigm shifting is like the "speed of light" compared to our old process of evolving. Paradigm shifting will allow us to do the impossible with the help of the internet. The paradigm shift will make it possible to build a foundation and infrastructure on the internet. This gives us the ability to use the internet far more effectively than before. The internet in this enhanced form is the only thing powerful enough to correct our situation (hundreds of years of divergence). Because the paradigm shift in itself is a fundamental technological change (in the what, why and how ), it will produce a superior environment that makes the analog mindset prohibitive and non viable. From that point on, our world transforms from being digitally divergent to a world that is digitally convergent. I will go even farther. The internet in this enhanced form is a Super Medium. It will be a more powerful force for change than all other mediums combined. The result is a Super Technology. I call it a Super Technology because no major technology of the past or present is comparable in scope or magnitude. It is the NeXus that has eluded us for so long, right in front of our faces. So how do we change a world that is based on digital divergence to a world that is based on digital convergence? It is up to you. you will have to see it for yourself...

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