Sociologist Alvin Toffler talked about the new society in his 1972 book 'Future Shock'. He says that when the rate of technological progress overtakes people's ability to keep pace with their understanding, society starts to feel disconnected and this leads to many social problems. He calls this the 'future shock'.
These are all advancements that could not have been foreseen by the earliest users of the wheel but each one has had a significant impact on society.
The printing press had a profound effect on humanity. It took knowledge that had been kept for the few and gave it to the people. New books were printed in their millions and instead of works being written in Latin they were now in the language from where they were printed. Works of science and philosophy could now be read by many and this helped lead to the Age of Enlightenment and a marked increase in the knowledge base of society.
The widespread printing of books in the native language of the authors is seen as a major reason for the rise of nationalism throughout Europe as people became proud of their language and culture.
People also started to own their own bibles, and they no longer had to go to the priests for the word of God. They could read for themselves and this greatly aided the Protestant Reformation and reduced the influence of the Catholic church.
With more people having access to books, the reading experience changed and instead of listening to the book being read, people were now reading the words in their head. With the bible, this made Man's relationship with God a much more personal one and it was a further step towards placing God inside of Man, and Man himself becoming God.
The printing press was designed for the publishing of serious works, but it was soon being used for the spread of the 'frivilous' novel. People were absorbing themselves in this new world of fantasy, and story telling moved from the spoken word to the written word.
Author Marshall Luhan talks of this widespread acquisition of knowledge and the change to society in his book 'The Gutenberg Galaxy'. He describes a new Man who emerged from the introduction of the printing press and he labels this new man 'Gutenberg Man'. A new Man with a higher level of understanding will also emerge from the current technological revolution. The new religion will claim this has been caused by a spiritual evolution and he has already been given a label by some. This time it's 'Luminous Man' or 'Enlightened Man'.
One of many things made possible by the mobile phone is the sending of a text message. It was invented to help test engineers in their work and it is now used by the majority of people on a regular basis.
The Internet is in it's infancy, yet already it has dramatically affected the world around us.
Newspapers and banks are being phased out as we switch over to on-line services. Many shops are closing as more of us like to browse and order from the comfort of our sofas.
We can plan trips, self-diagnose illness, study, and join social groups.
We can be entertained by TV, movies, music and video and we can access these things from anywhere we want to.
We are about to experience a revolution in the way we live our lives and the way the world around us operates. And we are about to acquire the knowledge and the technology to take humanity to another level entirely. If the harnessing of fire was one small step on the way to Man becoming God, then we are about to take one giant leap in the same direction.
It's being billed as a new age, a raising of consciousness, and a paradigm shift. However, these are only the effects of the coming new age. The cause is the technological revolution and it's about to be unveiled to the world.
2012 and a New Age