Macroevolution of Technology
Evolution: Development within Big History, Evolutionary and World-System Paradigms. Edited by: Leonid E. Grinin, Аndrey V. Korotayev. Volgograd: ‘Uchitel’ Publishing House, 2013. Pp. 143-178
36 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2013
Date Written: September 1, 2013
What determines the transition of a society from one level of development to another? One of the most fundamental causes is the global technological transformations. Among all major technological breakthroughs in history the most important are the three production revolutions: 1) the Agrarian Revolution; 2) the Industrial Revolution and 3) the Scientific-Information Revolution which will transform into the Cybernetic one.
The article introduces the Theory of Production Revolutions. This is a new explanatory paradigm which is of value when analyzing causes and trends of global shifts in historical process. The article describes the course of technological transformations in history and demonstrates a possible application of the theory to explain the present and forthcoming technological changes. The authors argue that the third production revolution that started in the 1950s and which they call the Cybernetic one, in the coming decades, that is in the 2030s and 2040s, will get a new impetus and enter its final stage – the epoch of (self)controllable systems. There are given certain forecasts concerning the development in such spheres as medicine, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies in the coming decades (the 2010s-2060s).
Keywords: production revolution, production principle, historical process, the Agrarian Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Cybernetic Revolution, controllable systems, biotechnology, medicine, nanotechnology, technology
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