Posted by: antyx | September 14, 2009

The role of information on social evolution


2001 Space Odyssey intro scene

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We now, without doubt live in a phenomenal fast pacing and highly dynamic era. Even from the beggining of the 21st century the internet as a technology was wide spread mainly in western societies. The hype was so big ack then it led to the famous dot com crash. During the 90’s this new medium was introduced enthoysiastically though in many cases it was treated as something dark and corrupted and addopted after a lot of sceptisism although in mos of those cases it led to its systematic use as time passed. This new medium or in technical terms a wide network web which it’s main use is to transimit information from one computer to another today is used by many different electronic devices and appliactions (mobile phones, embeded systems etc). I could go on examining all the technicalities of this complex distributed network though it not one of my aim in this article. This technical term or better enough concept which originaly the internet was created is called information. Infromation stands as an illustration that comes in many forms today. A piece of paper with a text printed on it, a colourful picture in our case an organised flow of electrons througha a cable or silicon or even an electromagnetic wave transmitted into the atmosphere consists what we call information.

Information of course prexisted before the biological formation of the human consiousness or mind, even before our main information chemical stream was formed, our DNA. It comes back to the days the first forms of organised matter were formed, just after the big bang, with the formation of particles and organised patterns of radiation. Ofcourse the human consious arose into being much after this long cosmological evolution in order to observe and define what we know today as information. Without any doubt it is a concept that is able to explain and describe  every form and pattern that can be observed in our physical reality and beyond our biological capabilities of observtion. From the particles of matter to the groups of galaxies that form the cosmos, information is embeded into every pattern of this physical universe.

It was and definatelly still is today the main driving force behind the everlasting increase and organisation of our society. Originaly we invented speech as a very good tool in order to transmit information and ideas to each other, a very effctive tool which is embeded into our evolutionary line and probably transformed our DNA into making us more capable biologically of speaking and understanding speech. Speaking alone was not enough into making information last in time and was not able to be transmitted in different moments in time and location so writing was invented. This led to the increase in complexity of ancient languages as babylonian, greek, latin ettc. Historicaly then with the use of  differnt matterials each time (stone plates, papyrus, paper) an effective information transmittion took place. Sciences and culture was widespread through written language and generally a systematic and organised way of representing information. In every cases the quality of this knowledge in addition with the cultural level of each time and place or society played a crucial role on the progressive evolution of  the economy, science, culture, technological achievements of its people in addition with the geopolitcal turning points of each time.

The introduction of large scale typography during the 16th century accelerated the cultural and scientific evolution o western societies. Modern media such as magazines, newpapers, radio, television etc during the 20th century highly impacted the way we tend to learn and educate our selves today. In this everlasting evolutionary timeline of techniques and ways of transmitting information the internet holds its own special place in all the electronic media and has succeded on rediging on how we percieve and do many things.

It connsists of a highly dyanmic and distrubuted medium where the end user can interfere and interact with the formatiion of a given piece of information and contnt. With the use of specialized tools and abilities we are able today to contribute to a very high level and be a part o this new medium. Today the content that can be found on the internet covers alomst every part of human activity. It’s very important for us to understand the undermeaning of all this revolution that comes after the wide use of this new tool and use this challenge in order to evolve into something better as a society. We ought to see all this with a maturity which we ought to have after thousand of years of social evolution and avoid recycling old and problematic attidudes and ideas of the past. This ought to stand as a great challenge of world wide coopoeration and commonly trying to achive our defined goals as a society. Technology today is maybe more than we can use effectively and productively. We lack of proper oganisation on forming common interest communities which can impact societty outside the sphere of this electronic medium itself.

You may wonder why i have not examined extensivelly on the ways this new hypermedium affects our every day lives. I try to avoid repeating myself on this blog because i had published an article on that matter before almost exactly one year:  The Internet: The Ulltimate Hypermedium

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