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Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1976 Jul-Aug;6(4):283-90.

Communications: the driving force behind the accelerating rate of change.


The rate of change of all aspects of the life of mankind on this planet is accelerating at an ever-increasing pace. It is stated that this upheaval is directly attributable to technological changes and their interaction with social, economic and political changes. The hypothesis is advanced that this dramatically increasing rate of change is due to four unique innovations, all dealing with communications. The four are the spoken language, the written language, the printing press and the electronic computer. The accelerating rate of technological change is measured by the rate at which one hundred "technological breakthroughs" have appeared. In prehistoric times, such breakthroughs occurred tens or hundreds of thousands of years apart. Today, several appear each decade. Hope is expressed that this rapidly accelerating rate of change will enable mankind to cope with the major problems of our modern civilization. The problems specifically flagged out are population growth, human genetics, energy and pollution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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