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Concerns about the Digital Revolution page
I came to this article after reading the article about the industrial revolution, and the contrast was jarring. This article is doesn't seem to have the depth I'd expect given that this is likely the single most important event of the last 50 years. There are just a couple sentences about each decade, no mention of some of the early pioneers. I know that there are articles on these specifics within Wikipedia, but I think this specific article would be improved if it had at least enough of a framework to link all these elements together (for example, you should have something to link to people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Wozniak, etc. Also, the advent of CD's was mentioned, but no real discussion of the incredible pace of technological advancement (Moore's Law, etc.). Also, there isn't much about the web, especially the transition from dial-up to broadband.
Lastly, and in my view most importantly, there is a very limited and, in my opinion negatively biased, discussion of the greater impact from this revolution. The statement about the economic impacts was vague and provided no objective measure (statistics), and the key advantage noted was the protection against totalitarianism (which, while important, doesn't really come to mind for most of us when thinking about how our lives have changed over this time). What about the incredible gains in productivity/efficiency? Scientific advances enabled by our technology? Reduced barriers to entry & lower fixed costs for businesses? Increased power of individuals, such that one normal person really can change the world now via the internet? I don't disagree that the automation & outsourcing have cost a lot of jobs, but my guess is on balance the technology has actually created more jobs, even in America.
As I stated at the top, I had just read about the industrial revolution, and it too exacted significant costs in terms of automating or transplanting jobs, forcing workers into low-paying and unpleasant jobs, etc. However, it's page notes the overwhelmingly positive overall impact of such technological progress, and I'd expect this page would as well.
I hope this is read simply as helpful criticism, not of complaining or insulting. I am not an expert on this topic and so can't personally improve the page, but I just wanted to express my opinions as a reader. I hope you find these suggestions helpful, thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pullmaniacs (talk • contribs) 09:01, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
- Well, you have to remember that the Digital Revolution is still ongoing, so its imply not realistic to expect it to be described in the same amount of depth as the Industrial Revolution, which historians have been studying for well over a century. I agree that the article could use more sources and better analyses and so on, but the kind of sources and analyses we'd like to have simply don't exist yet. We need to wait until we have a fuller picture, and that's why at the moment there's not much to say besides generalizations. Overall, though I like the overall drive of the article and expect in the years to come it will be properly fleshed out.theBOBbobato (talk) 17:44, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
--Another Concern About the Digital Revolution--
I once wrote the treatment here for the Digital Revolution and it lasted for four months before someone flagged it for source. If the truth were understood, it would be clear that what has happened so far is only and evolution and not a revolution. Nowhere in the verbiage is the allusion to the profound implications of our media going from linear to non-linear. In truth, that which we call "politics" exists in the forms that they do to address information and implications which do not fit into the standard units of existing linear media--from the simple letter to book to video to film. All are straight lines of streamed thought which involves editorial and this political decisions as to what to put in and what to leave out to communicate what the writer or producer considers of highest priority. Politics exist because it is assumed that an entire truth can not be conveyed in a unit of linear communication. If you take that limitation and smash it into a thousand pieces and build repositories into the unit of knowledge transfer. and come up with a standard modality for conveying not just information but understanding of it, society will change as much around that as it changed from horse to automobile power. Linearity versus non-linearity shifts responsibility in communications. Since the linear page of paper is no longer the defacto unit of knowledge transaction, the very need to vote for representatives to go to a place where political drama ensues as to fact and intention in communications, it is possible to use the full spectrum of time to bring governance to the people and their understanding and intention back as stated votes for issues of collective progress and priorities. Over time this would shrink the power and significance of the partisan layers in between "the people" and execution of their will. The "revolution" is not in the chip or the computer or the drop in costs for devices. It is in not only what we make of digital technology but what it makes of us in that we are not static creatures of limited intellect but creatures of neuroplastic dynamism whose capacity grows or atrophies based upon what we are motivated to do (or if we instead are not motivated to accept any challenge). The fact that we have not yet reformed to address this neuroplastic nature ensures that politics is in great part a contest between persons of more developed capacities versus ones of less. And if less outnumbers more, we will be stuck for long periods under the direction of those who take advantage of the under-developed and under-motivated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JimmyMack1955 (talk • contribs) 17:57, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
--Cellphone users 2010-- I am just curious, as I was reading the stats for cellphone and internet users, does this also include the fact that some people use the internet on their cellphones and may not use internet at home as a result? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 08:03, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Under the section "Rise in Digital Technology Use", under 2010, it says that the Internet has 1,800 billion users. Unless I'm mistaken, the Internet hasn't spread outside of the Earth yet, so this number is wrong. Should that be 1.8 billion? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikihunter734 (talk • contribs) 23:00, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Proposed merge discussion notice
When did the digital revolution start?
The opening of the article says the digital revolution started somewhere in the 1950s to 1970s era. However, Economist Robert Gordon argues that the digital revolution didn't start until 1996 or so, when its impact began to be reflected in productivity statistics.  Any thoughts on expanding the range of times when the revolution began? Robert Gordon is pretty mainstream as far as I know. Tedsanders (talk) 19:21, 9 June 2015 (UTC) 1996 is when the digital revolution *ended*. The revolution over, productivity rose.
- It began in 011110111100. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) --A D Monroe III (talk) 19:44, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
In the late 19th century, the US patent office commissioner declared that everything that CAN BE invented HAS BEEN invented. Given that short-sighted view, it is probably most fair to deem the beginning of the so-called "digital revolution" as a result of the invention of the so-called "semi-conductor"--a discovery that electricity is not just a dynamic force whose flow through wires or conductive materials is of one nature of gross transmission but instead one of far more controllable "packet" exchange in which all information can be represented in limited conductive fashion where every detail of what is converted into a "digital" representation of an expression of meaning is reduced to a binary code statement. The term "digital" in the context of "digital revolution" comes from the world's first universal language--a language spoken by the semi-conductor microchip at the heart of every computing device which is simply comprised of strings of "digits" that equal "on or off", "yes or no", or "1 or 0" in "computer words" called "bytes" which are all strings of specifically limited strings of 1s and 0s. Whereas everything that existed prior to the "digital" modality (called "analog") was a matter of linear "bumps" on a vinyl record or lines of transmission and reception on a television screen to a "fax" machine where any interference with signal would mean a noticeable pop or scratching sound which could not be avoided, AND the term "generation loss" existed to typify what happens to a linear stream of of analog information which could suffer degradation even on the first transmission (think how "rabbit ear antennas" on old television sets or crackle due to weather on a phone line could mess up a "fax" transmission would impact your TV watching back in the day or turn out a nasty and unreadable fax sent over an analogue telephone line, the silicon-cased semi-conductor and binary modality of converting information to "compressed packets" of 1s and 0s which are "uncompressed" so quickly at the receiving end as to be imperceptible, addressed the issue of "generation loss" so that every bit of information involved in familiar linear works like pieces of music or movies or any kind of linear video, would be "fractured" into "byte packets", transmitted via media like compact disk or network wire or broadcast airwaves, would be recieved and uncompressed--turned from packets of 1s and 0s back into millions of "byte" statements which one's receiving device would convert into the information that was represented in the "digital" transmission without absolutely any degradation whatsoever. There would be no statements of "pops" or "Clicks" in binary form, so therefore, the days of "snap, crackle and pop" or "snowy" television, or unreadable faxes were things of the past.
This is only the beginning of what conversion of information to packets of digital statements of 1s and 0s potentially facilitates. As a pioneer of new media potentials in the 1980's, I personally developed a knack for encompassing how the limits of paper and "one to many" analogue modalities came under new pressure for supplanting modalities. I was therefore rather annoyed when Wikipedia demanded me to "quote my sources" as if this whole phenomenon had already played out and there was a world of existing reaction by different theorists as to what is good or bad about design in the digital age. Let me advise you sternly, there is very little in the way of interpretation of what the change from analogue communications modalities to digital ones mean in practicality. It has been more than 8 years since i wrote my Wikipedia treatment for the "Digital Revolution" and not a whole lot has happened to help society fill in the blanks. On relationship sites on the web people still ask in all sincerity "what does it mean when someone unfriends you on FaceBook?" or "what does it mean about me that my husband watches so much porn--I hate myself?" I have field these questions and have grown now to be a 61 year old whose life experiences are probably as good or better than the average mental heath care worker's knowledge on these subjects--because even now, they still don't teach this stuff in school. Thus, I am miffed when someone demands that I quote my "source" when there still aren't any sources, and I damn well know that my experience and investment in the subject are hard won.
There is no existing source of wisdom on the subject of digital communications and human inter-personal dialogue. Indeed, technology changes the very nature of what human dialogue is and what its rules should be. Consider the accident in Los Angeles in which a train motorman was "texting" with his daughter while operating a fast-moving commuter line. He failed to pay proper attention to a signal and crashed the train killing many passengers back in the early 2000a. At the time I felt that there needed to be a new "literacy"--called "socio-technological literacy" which would conventionalize understanding of how dialogue between human beings is changed by such digital devices as texting cell-phones.I followed up and found that the local metro train authority simply issued an edict not to text while working. I felt adamant that it was more desirable to lead transit workers to a state of "socio-technological literacy" where they would come to under stand the pull of expanding dialogue throughout their work lives so that it becomes critical to observe rules not to engage in texts while performing tasks where other people's lives were in there hands. But, predictably, all that happened was an authoritarian edict by the local train authority not to text while operating a train. There was nothing in the way of means to understand how dialogue is changed by technology and the ability to drop and pick up parts of it throughout time as the speed of life went on. What is better? An authoritarian edict to simply not "text", or a company investment in becoming "socio-technolgically literate" which not only addresses the employee of responsibility but their understanding of the mind sets of the people they transport?
I'll be back to follow up on this subject as it is late here in my locale. I am sure however that even now--30 years into the availability of low cost digital communications devices that the so-called "digital revolution" still hasn't even started--it's a matter of cultural ethics and not technologies. Ergo, what it can grow to become is not in a book I can quote. It's in the vision of the designer first to make it be what it can be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JimmyMack1955 (talk • contribs) 08:04, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
There's no citations or sources at all in that section, and some of the claims are rather dubious. In particular, the "Desktop computer to laptop to tablet computer" chain listed as an improvement has caught my eye: it seems that it's an improvement in mobile computing, but not generally. Other cases that can use sources are the expected years of disappearance. Perhaps it should be elaborated. Defanor (talk) 21:41, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
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