Standing atop Daniel Bell’s shoulders….

A 12th-century French monk, Bernard of Chartres, once observed that he stood on the shoulders of giants. That’s how Thomas Siebel feels about Daniel Bell and how I feel about both of them. In his latest book, Digital Transformation, Siebel shares his thoughts about surviving and thriving in an era of mass distinction.

In The Coming Post-Industrial Societry (1973), Bell predicted “a fundamental change in the structure of human economic and social interaction — a change with impact on the order of the Industrial Revolution — a change he called ‘The Industrial Age.'”

Siebel goes on to explain that Bell “identified five structural changes that would transpire to shape the Information Age”:

1. Confluence of telephone and computer communications into a single medium
2. Replacement of printed media by electronic communications
3. Dramatic expansion of television enhanced by cable communications
4. Advent of the computer database as the primary aggregator of knowledge and information
5. Dramatic expansion of the education system through computer-aided learning about almost anything

Keep in mind, Bell foresaw these developments 46 years ago “before the advent of the personal computer, before the internet as we know it, before email, before the graphical user interface…Bell developed his theory in the context of the history of economic civilization, positing three constructs: Pre-Industrial; Industrial; and Post-Industrial.”

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To learn more about Thomas Siebel, please click here.

Digital Transformation was published by Rosetta Books.


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