The Great Mistake 2.0? The Digital Revolution and the Consequences of Innovation

abstract

This article reviews the literature surrounding three separate developments stemming from the digital revolution. A revolution that is perhaps as profound as its ancient agricultural counterpart with equally far-reaching implications. Diamond identified three areas where agriculture has made a significant and negative impact: Class division and inequality; adverse effects on health; and the concentration of power in the hands of the few. The digital revolution is producing a similar impact along associated lines but at a far more rapid rate. Specifically, this includes the digital divide not only along sociodemographic lines within countries but between the developed and developing world; the social and physical effects of an increasingly constant online existence; and the creeping authoritarianism that is occurring as technologically corporations become ever more powerful, and the perhaps inevitable state backlash to wrest control away from these firms, resulting in an increase in the latter’s control over those it governs.

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