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Chapter 9



"Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines
unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine"

-Sergey Brin (Co-founder of Google)


Global Information Revolution


We are living in one of the most tumultuous and extraordinary times in human history. Call it the Age of Information, the Digital Revolution or the New Global Cyberspace Frontier, humanity is now transiting through an era so profound that it will literally reorganize and redefine our civilization for generations to come.

We are at a point where almost everything associated with the old industrial age is falling into dysfunction and everything associated with the new digital/communications age is booming. Information has become the new currency of the 21st century. Today, global financial transactions are increasingly being carried out electronically with literally trillions of dollars, yen and euros moving through gigantic supercomputer networks on any given day. In addition to the fact that the power and nature of the computer chip is doubling every 18 months (and becoming increasingly miniaturized), the process of information exchange is moving at the speed of light and contributing to a colossal doubling of the global knowledge base every 2 years!

The 1990's saw the mass popularization of the Internet, the world wide web and the first debut of the newly touted 'global electronic village'. Today, the internet is widely recognized as the driving force and focal point of the current communications and information revolution. As of 2001, more than 1/2 of all american households had computers and were online using the internet. E-mail remains the internet's most popular function, with nearly 80% of all internet users reportedly using e-mail.

Using the current global information infrastructure of the internet as its backbone, today's information industry is poised, with its high emphasis on knowledge and information analysis, to take over the traditional industrial production enterprise and become the primary driving economic force for the developed world in the coming years and decades. In addition to the internet, a whole plethora of mobile telecommunications devices are revolutionizing the world's communications capabilities. In 1991, less than 10 million people in the world had access to mobile phones. Today, mobile cell phones are the largest electronics market in the world. According to the CEO of Nokia group, cell-phone users topped 1 billion in 2002, linking up over 15% of the world's population at that time. Today in 2010, the number of cell phone subscribers has been estimated to be at over 4 billion, roughly 60% of the world's current population. The number of internet users, by way of comparison, as of 2010, now stands at roughly 2 billion, approximately 30% of the world's population.

The mobile wireless digital communications explosion is similiarily fueling the multi-use/multi-media technology industry, where we are beginning to see computer terminals function as a TV, video-telephone, stereo-radio console, DVD player and internet access portal all in one. Already, with the advent of the I-phone, we see telephone capability complimented with internet, e-mail, GPS and text messaging applications. All of these communications technologies are enhanced by way of real time digital uplinks to orbiting constellations of satellite networks in space.

On December 21, 2001, the United Nations adopted a resolution forming the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The World Summit was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2003, in Tunis, Tunisia in 2005 and again in Switzerland in 2010. This summit aims to bring together representatives from the highest levels of government, the private corporate sector, international media, civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGO's). It offers a unique opportunity for the world community to discuss and give shape to the emerging global information society. Proposed themes include bridging the digital divide, meeting the information needs of the developing world and achieving universal and equitable access for all to the global information superhighway.

Analogous to the agricultural and industrial revolutions, the digital revolution marked the beginning of the age of information. The digital revolution converted technology that was previously analog into digital format (1's and 0's). This ultimately led to the inspiration and creation of the world wide web, commonly referred to today as the internet. By 1996, the internet had become mainstream. By 1999, nearly every country on Earth had a connection, and by 2000, the digital internet revolution began to spread to the rest of the world's masses. Central to the explosion of the global digital/information revolution has been the micro-processing chip, which has enabled computer technology to be embedded not only in personal computers, laptops and netbooks, but also in such devices as digital cameras and personal music players such as the I-pod.

Equally important in this revolution has been the development of digital transmission technologies including computer networking, such as with teleconferencing, and with online digital broadcasting mediums such as you tube, online movies, surveillance cameras and web cams.

One major issue that has opened up in the global information revolution we are now fully in the middle of has been the concern over personal privacy. In the USA, this has translated into massive and pervasive violations of American's 4th amendment right to be free from illegal government searches and surveillance. The ability of computer databases to store, utilize and retrieve such large amounts of diverse data has opened up unprecedented opportunities by private and governmental institutions and agencies to track, monitor and control citizen's interests and activities.

What is emerging is an orwellian technotronic police state with an ubiquitous array of spy and surveillance cameras and the ability to conduct warrantless wiretapping of phone and e-mail communications, as well as compile life histories on every citizen detailing their purchase history, psychological profile and potential threat assessment.

On the positive side, though, the internet has opened up whole avenues for information and communications sharing and exchange. The internet, has, in effect, become the new "global brain" of human civilization. The entire knowledge base of the world's past, present and future (projected), can now be accessed by our very fingertips! This, in and of itself, represents an incredible evolutionary leap in human organization, information access and ultimately, a quantum leap in our ability to evolve in human consciousness.

As well, the ability to easily and rapidly- at the speed of light- access, research and share information, has opened up a whole new level of global free speech. Every person on Earth has now been given the ability to publish their views on any topic to a global audience.

Although the digital revolution has ushered in a new age of mass surveillance, generating a whole plethora of new civil, privacy and human rights concerns, it has also made it possible for any individual to access, store and track an unlimited amount of facts, articles, statistics and trends.

Newsweek magazine in 2010 came out with a back story titled, "Exactly how much are the times changing?". Here are some of the statistics they listed:

1. The number of active blogs increased from 12,000 in 2000 to 141 million in 2010.

2. Daily google searches increased from 100 million in 2000 to 2 billion in 2010.

3. Video game revenues increased from $7.98 billion in 2000 to $19.66 billion in 2010.

4. The number of books published in 2000 was 282,242. In 2010, that number rose to 1,052,803.

5. The number of daily letters mailed decreased from 207 billion in 2000 to 175 billion in 2010.

6. The number of text messages sent in 2000 was 400,000. By 2010, that number exploded to 4.5 billion.

7. Hard drive storage prices fell from $10 a gigabyte in 2000 to $.06 cents a gigabyte in 2010.

8. The amount of time spent online went from 2.7 hours a week in 2000 to a total of 18.3 hours a week in 2010.

9. CD sales revenues went down from nearly $1 billion in 2000 to $427 million in 2010.

10. The number of I-tunes downloads went from 0 in 2000 to a staggering 10 billion in 2010.

These figures and others clearly exemplify that humanity is at the very heart of a global information/digital revolution as never before witnessed in all of human history. In scope and in magnitude, this phenomenon is transforming the very fabric of human evolution and civilization.

The complex web of the emerging global information grid will no doubt undergo continual exponential growth in the coming years and decades. Both Heidi and Alvin Toffler in their book, "The Third Wave", have mapped out the evolution of society in 3 progressive waves- the agrarian/agricultural, the industrial and the information stages. These transitions, in turn, revolutionized each progressive stage of human evolution. As we ride the crest of the 3rd wave (the information age), we will witness a synthesis of knowledge and information that can only be realized and acknowledged as a new renaissance in human society. This is already occuring with the rapid rise of internet online shopping, the instantaneous transfers of daily economic financial transactions and with the increasingly interconnected digital electronic information grid that is serving us in so many other disparate and tangential ways today.

The sweeping changes brought about by the exploding information revolution is sending shock waves throughout the entire world society, transforming virtually every facet of every field of endeavor.

Although envisioned to bring about revolutionary third wave transformation in the areas of biotechnology, nanotechnology and military warfighting affairs, the real power and scope of this historical transition will be in the areas of increased levels of human intelligence, knowledge, wisdom and consciousness within the human family and throughout human society in general. Heightened political, social, cultural and environmental awareness amongst the populace will bring true security to people and nations in the future, not advanced space-age informational and technological war fighting capabilities as is currently envisioned by the US military-industrial-intelligence-security complex.

The global information revolution must serve the interests of building and maintaining a global green society, not a military version of some future holocaust threat in the making.

The dawn of a third wave society has brought us to the point where information has become the dominant medium of exchange that drives the global economy. Information can serve the forces of death and destruction through the implementation and execution of global eugenics operations or it can serve the forces of life in helping us to build a global green economy for the 21st century. The choice is ours. We cannot and will not Save Our Planet if we continue to use the benefits of our information technology and infrastructure to destroy it. Cybersecurity commands, infowars and global electronic eavesdropping performed by such agencies as the US National Security Agency (NSA), have absolutely no place in a world that is to survive and prosper in the 21st century.

Building and maintaining a green world order for the future requires that humanity use its knowledge, information, technological expertise and infrastructure to construct a civilization based on the principles of sustainability, environmental stewardship, renewable energy, non-violent and non-meat based behavior and diets, alternative modes of transportation mobility and green lifestyles that honor and respect the dignity and right of all life on Earth to a decent standard of existence.

Access to the world's database of comprehensive and accumulative stores of knowledge and information- through the internet- will help educate and evolve the sum of our global consciousness and give us the tools necessary for us to build a prosperous, just, equitable, highly advanced and survivable world civilization for our future.

The global information age, therefore, is a double edged sword. Technology can be used to enslave or to liberate mankind. Information can be used by our basest lower instincts to kill, manipulate and control a population, as we unfortunately see happening today with the move to instigate a global Big Brother stalinist-style fascist police state, or it can serve our highest dreams and aspirations as a species and evoke us to evolve, advance and mature into a global eco-based green civilization that protects and defends the very environment from which it arose and depends. From there, only the stars themselves are the limit...

Let us therefore use our technological brilliance and information/knowledge based society to solve the growing array of global environmental problems that now beset us as a species. There are immediate technological and informational applications and incentives out there that will help us move beyond the threats of global climate change, world water shortages, overpopulation pressures and deforestation/desertification problems.

The internet has shrunk the world literally into a small village. With the click of a mouse or the tap of a keystroke, we can send and access huge volumes of selected and accrued amounts of knowledge and information that will help us all in our collective battle to Save Our Planet. With a greater proliferation of terminals and faster connections, we can ensure that all the world's people have direct access to the "global brain".

Special emphasis in any discussion of the global information age must be given to the status, nature and mission of the global media. That includes television, radio, movies and, of course, the internet. This discussion is particularily imperative in lieu of the global population explosion crisis and how the human enterprise can collectively get this current human demographics problem under control.

I believe the global media has both an obligation and a responsibility to educate and inform the public on this most critical issue. As stated previously, the global population crisis is the root cause of many of the global environmental problems we face today. Fortunately, the digital media revolution has given humanity the means of reaching deeply into the hearts and minds of human civilization and human consciousness on the planet today- with a few exceptions.

Coupled with a mandatory and concerted one child per family global demographics population policy, the human enterprise can learn to use the tremendous outreach capabilities of the global media to not only disseminate knowledge and information on the world population crisis, but help provide workable solutions and family planning strategies to get this particular world crisis immediately under control. The global media must use its medium as a tool of planetary salvation and survival, not waste its talent, time and energy strictly on entertainment, distraction, fluff and disinformation as is currently the case today.

The formation of a global green world order to help solve issues such as overpopulation, requires the cooperation and assistance of the global media, its that simple. The global information revolution has provided humanity with the technology, outreach and means through which we can learn to save our civilization and planet from near certain destruction. All it takes is the willingness and skill necessary to harness this incredible gift for the benefit and well-being of all life on Earth. As it is our supreme responsibility and obligation to be good stewards of God's creation, so to is it our supreme honor to secure the livelihood and right of future generations to live their lives on a cleaner, planet than the one we now currently enjoy.

As with the global information revolution, so too, can we have a revolution in human consciousness and compassion, now absolutely required of us if we are to pass through and survive the comprehensive, all-encompassing world crisis that currently threatens us all today with literal extinction.



SOURCES:

1. Wikipedia/Information Revolution

2. National Intelligence Council/Global Information Revolution

3. UN World Summit on the Information Society





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