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The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society
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The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Why do we find ourselves living in an Information Society? How did the collection, processing and communication of information come to play an increasingly important role in advanced industrial countries relative to the roles of matter and energy? Is this change recent--or not? Beniger traces the origin of the Information Society to major economic and business crises of th ...more
Paperback, 508 pages
Published March 15th 1989 by Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA) (first published October 12th 1986)
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Sarah Inman
Oct 27, 2014 Sarah Inman rated it really liked it
When did the transfer of information come to replace material goods? What are the true causes of change and particularly social change and the “crisis of control” generated by the Industrial Revolution? Why did the Information Society seemingly occur so rapidly? How may we come to understand the past so that we may shape the future? These are some of the questions Beniger attempts to answer in his sprawling history of the emergence of the Information Society. His story begins in the mid-1800s (t ...more
John
Read it once and it changed the arc of my thinking and my professional career.

In short, the information revolution (capital I, capital R) started long before we made it electronic. In fact Beniger would have it that the information had to accompany the industrial revolution for industrial tools made organizations more capable or powerful. Yet, absent sufficient information, adequately structured and delivered, those organizations would not have been able to control that new capability and power
...more
Emily
Jan 11, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
This book came at the right time and changed my thinking about so many things. I read it in the midst of a reading binge when I was obsessed with science fiction, cyborgs, robots, opera and E.T.A. Hoffmann. Somehow this book seemed to answer so many of the questions that were driving my other reading.
Beniger's book is really a study of systems - systems of production and control and the cycle that forces progress. His case studies are fascinating - he makes Quaker Oats seem exotic, and the orig
...more
Kasper
Dec 18, 2012 Kasper rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Max Weber readers, history/sociology & technology readers
Recommended to Kasper by: A Marxist professor
Information technology is a combination of computing and communication, both of which have occured to information technology in the latter half of the 19th century. Its role was to fill the gap between availability of numerous technological possibilities which have occurred by the industrial revolution that had taken place a century ago and the immature social infrastructure that blocked their realization. Communication and computation technologies had grown separately until digital computers em ...more
Hai
Oct 24, 2011 Hai rated it liked it
My second gateway book to sociology -- the modern world is the response to a control crisis brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Technology is the external intension of the natural process. The world is about information processing and communication technology. Can't actually image how this author can cooperate all sections of human endeavor into such a book -- pretty clear though -- especially the description of control crisis in the 19th Century U.S.
Ron Davison
Jul 09, 2008 Ron Davison rated it it was amazing
The origins of the information age traced back through technology and behavior changes. A brilliant book.
Daniel
Nov 07, 2011 Daniel marked it as to-read
Shelves: abandoned
Just couldn't wade through this one. Maybe later...
John
nonfiction,information science,philosophy,history
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