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Current Structural Shift

     The current situation is characterized by a technosphere-as- cause scenario - the prime mover is information technology. Indeed, our future society has been defined in terms of this technology. We are, it is generally agreed, moving from an industrial society, based on energy, to a post-industrial society, based on information.

      This is not simply a sectoral shift, within some subset of the technosphere, but a structural shift with reverberations throughout our entire model. It is important, then, that we see things whole. Hence the need for a broad model such as provided above.

      You may reasonably say that this model is too broad. Indeed, it is. However, we academics tend to be too narrow. If the person in the center is a natural scientist (physicist, biologist, etc.), he (she) tends to look out over the ecosphere; if the person in the center is a social scientist (economist, political scientist, etc.), he (she) tends to look out over the sociosphere; if the person in the center is an expert in the sciences of the artificial (architect, engineer, etc.), he (she) tends to look out over the technosphere. They are like the three blind men, each in contact with a part of the elephant and getting a false view of the whole elephant.

      You may reasonably say the model is too simple. Indeed it is. However, we academics tend to under-simplify things. It is a useful first slice of our complex modern reality. George Miller, in his classic article, The magic number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits to our capacity for processing information argued that we are capable of handing simultaneously only seven categories (give or take a couple). The model has this optimal number of seven categories.

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