Are we in the midst of the internet revolution?
As a lay student of history, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it must’ve been like as the world shifted from an agrarian, farm-based economy — with most people living on farms — to a mechanized, industrial one in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s when people migrated to cities and to jobs in factories and offices.
According to Wikipedia, “The industrial revolution brought about various shifts in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation, which had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain. The changes subsequently spread throughout Europe and North America and eventually the world, a process that continues today as industrialisation.
The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human society; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.”
Think about the pain and angst people felt as their kids left home for the city, children labored in factories, wages were low and conditions horrendous, and how much time it took for some sort of equilibrium to occur. It took many decades.
I would argue that we’re right in the midst of an internet and cleantech revolution that’s just begun and is influencing almost every aspect of daily life right now. As Bruce Sterling so famously said, “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
The internet, and my business, personal and learning use of it, has fundamentally changed my life and those around me. The same could be said for many others I know. Of course, then there are those in my life that don’t even have computers, or use their mobile phones for voice only. It will take years (decades?) for the future internet to get evenly distributed, though I predict it’s going to happen far faster than anything that’s come before.