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Q: The Information Age ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: The Information Age
Category: Business and Money > Economics
Asked by: paul2002-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 11 Jun 2002 15:21 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2002 15:21 PDT
Question ID: 24430
Have historians settled on which year and event marks the beginning of
the information age?
Subject: Re: The Information Age
Answered By: chiflado-ga on 11 Jun 2002 15:41 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The Smithsonian says that the Information Age began in 1837 with the
invention of the telegrapgh by Samuel Morse.

This maybe not exactly what you had in mind. In this paper published
by Rand, James Dewar proposes that the Information Age, as replacing
the era of printing started in 1969 with the first development of
network computing in 1969

I quote

In fact, my basic argument can be stated as follows: 

*	As the first true many-to-many communications medium,[8] the
networking of computers is the defining characteristic of the
information age,

*	There has been only one comparable event in the recorded history of
communications--the printing press. It was the first true one-to-many
communications medium, and no change since has been as dramatic as
networked computers,[9]

*	The impact of the printing press on its era was profound in breadth
and depth, and was directly related to its one-to-many communications
*	It is thus that I argue the many-to-many capability enabled by
networked computers will play a role in similarly broad and deep
changes in the information age.

For me, then, it is networked computers that define the information
age. Other definitions of the information age are much broader,
encompassing other information technologies such as faxes, cellular
phones, non-networked computer applications, few-to-few intranets, and
so forth.

The paper can be found at

The University of Pennsylvania suggest that the Information dates from
the development of ENIAC - the first electroic computer,

There, fifty years ago, in a larger room with drab- colored walls and
open rafters, stood the first general purpose electronic computer, the
Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, or ENIAC. It spanned 150
feet in width with twenty banks of flashing lights indicating the
results of its computations


There seems to be no agreement, but I suspect that the Smithsonian is
right in the longer historical perspective.
paul2002-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Seems like a terrific perspective (and that's what I was searching for).  Thanks.

Subject: Re: The Information Age
From: plotinus-ga on 12 Jun 2002 05:36 PDT
Surely the information age began in the fifteenth century with the
invention of the printing press!

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