The Electronic Revolution Essay Research Paper THE

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The Electronic Revolution Essay, Research Paper THE ELECTRONIC REVOLUTION We are all aware of the first and second industrial revolutions as described in our Text: “Technology and American Society,” and how they have influenced our lives and cultures today. This material has been presented in a limited amount so we may have an understanding of the major technological transformations of the last three centuries and the causes and effects of technological change. 1 I will present in this paper a limited view of a subject not covered or classified, which (if not already) has affected our lives. Even though the Electronic Revolution is a broad statement in itself, and may have different meanings to many people, I will concentrate on one aspect of this Electronic Revolution;

“The World Wide Web.” But what is the World Wide Web? Where did it come from, and why is it so popular and so potentially important? Is it a system of both communications and publication? How does it work, what effect does it have on our lives, and what can we expect in its future? These are the questions I will attempt to answer. The Industrial Revolution dominated the economy. Half of the population contributed to the manufacturing of man-made goods. The enactment of the Patent Law of 1790, the improvements with our infrastructure, and the availability of a vast array of natural resources entered us into the modern era of the factory, and rapid technological change. The Second Industrial Revolution was of course related to the first except for it’s growth, which was even

faster. Major developments with the internal combustion engine, electricity, chemicals, continued improvements of transportation and the organized research lab propelled us into the Twentieth Century. The Electronic Revolution, related to both revolutions has produced technological changes even more rapidly than the first two. Major developments with metallurgy, solar and nuclear power, circuit boards, microprocessors, and the establishment of the “Information Highway” will beam us into the Twenty First Century. Technological change is often dependent on existing needs, and does not emerge all at once. That the rate and amount of technological changes are influenced by outside sources other than the specific technology at hand. One of these outside influences is our political

climate, and how the laws of government can have an impact on the rate, amount, type, and by whom technology is developed. The Clinton administration, shortly after Bill’s inaugural address, had paved the way for a specific technology to advance at a high rate of speed. By vowing the government’s commitment via dedicating funds for research and development, instituting certain corporate tax breaks, and creating the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) 2, to support his much-hyped information superhighway (or, more properly, Global Information Infrastructure). Thus “The World Wide Web.” The World Wide Web is among the most rapidly adopted technological entities of a century that has seen many changes, and understanding it might be crucial for understanding the

next century. The World Wide Web dates back to March of 1989. In that month, Tim Berners- Lee of Geneva’s European Particle Physics Laboratory constructed a proposal to develop a “hypertext system” for the purpose of enabling efficient and easy information sharing throughout the world’s researchers in the field of High Energy Physics. 3 The basic proposal consisted of these components:  A consistent user interface. (Availability)  The ability to incorporate a wide range of technologies and document types.  A “universal readership”; that is, anyone on the network, on a different computer, could read the same document as anyone else, and could do so easily. (Standardization) This idea would allow collaborative researchers to present their research, complete