Archive for June 20th, 2012

June 20, 2012

Information Revolution


john desmond bernal

The term information revolution describes current economic, social, and technological trends beyond the Industrial Revolution. Many competing terms have been proposed that focus on different aspects of this societal development.

The British polymath crystallographer J. D. Bernal introduced the term ‘scientific and technical revolution’ in his book ‘The Social Function of Science’ (1939) in order to describe the new role that science and technology are coming to play within society. He asserted that science is becoming a ‘productive force,’ using the Marxist Theory of Productive Forces (a widely-used concept in communism placing primary emphasis on technical advances and strong productive forces in a nominally socialist economy before real communism, or even real socialism, can have a hope of being achieved).

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June 20, 2012

Technological Unemployment

jobs by joost swarte

Technological unemployment is unemployment primarily caused by technological change. Since the early 1800’s, the observation of economists has been that technology has had a positive influence on employment: as technological change increased productivity, prices for commodities fell, resulting in increased demand, thereby increasing demand for labor. Machines freed workers from simple manual work but created new better paying jobs requiring more specialized skills.

However, some technologists claim that modern capabilities of pattern recognition, machine learning, and global networking are steadily eliminating the skilled work of large swaths of the middle income workforce. The warning is that technology is no longer creating jobs at the rate that it is making others obsolete. The notion of technological unemployment leading to structural unemployment (and being macroeconomically injurious) is often dismissed as the ‘Luddite fallacy.’

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