Industrial/Growth Age vs Information/Eco Age

Industrial/Growth Age Characteristics

(discussed in detail later in the post)

  1. automation replaces manual labour
  2. time to travel continually decreases
  3. automation and culture spreads around the globe
  4. population growth is unprecedented
  5. economic markets expand rapidly
  6. the Christian religion is the dominant religion of the revolution

Have I missed any? Most likely yes.

Information/Eco Age Characteristics

(again, discussed in detail later)

  1. a new wave of intelligent automation replaces even manual and even some skilled labour
  2. virtual travel becomes an alternative to physical travel
  3. the globe is already linked, and propagation of new ideas is virtual
  4. population growth will very likely stall
  5. economic markets may be largely static
  6. conflict is being channelled into religion

Industrial/Growth Age Discussion.

Automation.

Automation started to be able to replace manual labour, and the ‘Ludites’ and others panicked as to what would happen to the displaced labour.  However, the automation helped create new wealth, and this new wealth created people able to spend on new products that never even existed previously, and that created new employment opportunities.

But it wasn’t just the automation that fuelled the economic growth.

Transport.

Shipping became faster and rail emerged to speed travel over land.  Improved transport enabled trade at greater distances, and more profitably to existing markets. Then cars and trucks arrived adding to the low cost transport options and final air travel. During the industrial age markets for many products moved from local to global in range.

Spread of Culture and Technology.

Significant empires of the British, French Spanish and German empires covered much of the globe. The emerging USA was founded on European culture.  European based ideas dominated the globe. This European influence was magnified by the new industrial capability which also had an origin first in Europe and then from both Europe and North America (itself largely and extension of Europe).  This allowed new trade in the technology of industrialisation as well as the products of that industrialisation.

Population.

The global population grew during the industrial age from around .5 billion to almost 7 billion.  That is a factor of 14x.  During the 20th century alone population grew from 1.5 billion to 6 billion, a four fold increase.

Economic Markets.

From an economic perspective, the population actually grew even faster.  Rural semi subsistence farming in many countries at the start of the industrial age, meant that those people had little participation in the market for many goods and services. By the year 2000 these people had also largely entered the market picture, and the economic participation of women had also grown significantly.

Religion.

The industrial age was largely driven by European culture and thus European religion which was dominated by Christianity.  But in parallel with this spread of religion, was a trend of a decline on average of the importance of religion in peoples lives.

Information/Eco Age Discussion.

Unlike the industrial age, we have only predictions and observations of the launch of the age in place of a full history.  This means much of this is based on the launch of the age rather than the conclusion.

Automation.

A new wave of intelligent automation seems inevitably positioned to take place. Intelligent machines or ‘robots’ are making advances in even such skilled areas as surgery. Clearly, the stage is set for another revolution in how work is done.

Transport.

The new emerging wave is virtual transport.  From 3d printing and virtual reality to the so well established internet a new wave of change is present.  Automated vehicles are in niches such as mining already but seem certain to become mainstream and again revolutionise actual shipping.  3D printing can even avoid shipping altogether.  Video conferences can reduce the frequency of travel for meetings.

Spread of Culture and Technology.

The previous empires are gone.  New ’empires’ of influence are the USA with a commanding presence on the internet and software through Google, Apple Microsoft and the likes of Facebook,  China through manufacturing and even countries such as South Korea through Samsung.  The mix of influences now means a cultural mixing pot.

Population.

The population growth of the previous (20th) century is not predicted to be matched ever again using the boldest of the ‘high’ projections, while humans exist on this earth.  Matching 20th century growth would result in a global population of around 24billion, and the most extreme estimates are below half of that level. In fact during the information/eco age I suggest population may even start to decline globally.  Note that birth rates in developed countries are already at levels that should produce a decline.

Economic Markets.

There is still growth of markets possible from and economic perspective as their are still countries well below developed levels.  The ratio of these countries to developed countries is lower than during the industrial/growth age.  Combined with substantially lower population growth, this means that lower nationwide economic growth is the reality.  Without the same population growth, economic growth per capita can still be strong, but the current economic system is not keyed to this an indicator.

Religion.

We currently have a state of flux.  The most intensely disenfranchised are being lured to extremist religion and terrorism. What will happen is a very complex picture.

 

 

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One thought on “Industrial/Growth Age vs Information/Eco Age

  1. Pingback: The Growth Age is Over | observ8tions

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