Jan 28, 2010 Comments Off
Is our society moving into the “information society” too quickly, or is this feeling merely a predictable conservative backlash to need change?
Rarely is any answer either extreme of a continuum. More likely, our society is responding to extreme social change exactly how it always does: some people react favorably and embrace the change, others react negatively and resist the change, and most people are somewhere in the middle. There is always a conservative force against change, because if there wasn’t, our society would have no stability at all. This force is neither always good or always bad (despite what some might want us to think), just as change itself is neither inherently good or bad.
“Too fast” is an extremely subjective description. I believe that what Mr. Hassan meant by “too fast” was that the social upheaval would do more damage than the eventual “3rd wave” social progress could repair, at least in the next generation or two. While I find myself unconvinced either way, I do question our need to even ask this question. The scientific approach to this kind of change would be to gather as much data as possible quickly, and then act upon our observed responsibilities to either speed or slow the change. But let’s face it, although I believe strongly in the successes of the scientific method in many things, this change is happening on a massive scale and at an almost unbelievable pace. My instincts tell me that we cannot hope to keep up with the consequences of this change in real time, and a more “laissez faire” approach may be much more effective.