The development of technologies for encoding, storing, communicating, and exploiting information is ...
The development of technologies for encoding, storing, communicating, and exploiting information is a major feature in the history of the human species. Although this development has generally progressed smoothly over time, we feel it is valuable to identify three significant points of rapid change or “paradigm shifts.” The first and possibly most revolutionary change was the invention of writing and its companion, literacy—the transition from an oral to a writing culture. The second was the invention of the printing press—the transition from hand-writing to the print culture. We are now in the midst of a third transition to an electronic or digital culture. This paper explores these three paradigm shifts.