The Information Enlightenment


(Andy Wootton) #1

I believe we are in the second wave of The Information Revolution, likely to be as important and disruptive as the societal changes that followed The Industrial Revolution. The introduction of computers wasn’t the important change. It is our ability to communicate directly and efficiently at a personal level rather than through hierarchical command and control structures that has the potential to change Everything. I think Birmingham’s culture and city layout gives us a significant advantage.

See Para. 2 of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham :

“A medium-sized market town during the medieval period, Birmingham grew to international prominence in the 18th century at the heart of the Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw the town at the forefront of worldwide advances in science, technology and economic development, producing a series of innovations
that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society.”

“Birmingham’s distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and highly skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided a diverse and resilient economic base for industrial prosperity.”

Anyone fancy a new Age of Midland Enlightenment? This time I’m hoping the Enlightenment comes during and after the revolution. That’s why I wanted to get closer to The Birmingham & Midland Institute, with its mission of:

“Diffusion and Advancement of Science, Literature and Art amongst all Classes of Persons resident in Birmingham and the Midland Counties”.

I hung onto the @BirmMidl Twitter feed I set up for B&MI and they didn’t want. I’m keeping it ticking over until I know what to do with it and I’ve broadened its scope to:

“Birmingham & Midland culture: science, technology, language, narrative, music & art; particularly where the streams cross.” I’m happy to modify that if you can think of anything better. Like B&MI, I rejected politics and religion as too divisive but in contrast I want to promote equality of opportunity for all.

I think we may be forced to redefine politics, capitalism, socialism, economics, money, work and our values. Does anyone else see this as a time of both huge opportunity and risk?


Midland Enlightenment Reboot
(Andy Wootton) #2

Apparently, we’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Is that like Fourth Generation Languages - no-one identified the first three until later?

This one is cyber-physical systems, AI and IOT, (so maybe this should be in ‘Technology’ not ‘Coder’? - because “Everything is deeply intertwingled”.)

I have an alternative theory but it doesn’t actually conflict. I think cultural revolutions have 2 phases, the first technical, the second social, so I think we’re crashing into a wall the Information Revolution built. Now, society and economics must mutate to survive.

I’m puzzled why electronics starts in 1969 rather than the 1940s but I’ve just learned that was the year of the first permanent computer-to-computer connection. I’m older than networks.