Ecosphere-sociosphere-technosphere triad

      In order to see our topic of the social impact of computerization in context, we have to stand way back way, way back. Indeed, way back to the beginning - at least, the beginning as defined by Christian theologians. This model is called "The Three Interfaces of Adam" because it can be introduced, somewhat whimsically, within the Christian cosmology.

      Imagine Adam all alone on our planet before it became so complicated. He had to deal only with his natural environment. Let us call it the ecosphere. When Eve arrived and they prospered and multiplied, a second major system was introduced into Adam's environment - consisting of other people. Let us call it the sociosphere. As Adam, Eve and their progeny made discoveries about and inventions from their environment, they built up a third major system in Adam's environment consisting of person-made things and ways of doing things. Let us call it the technosphere. The three spheres may be represented by three overlapping circles, as indicated in Figure 1 [1].

      The double overlap between each pair of spheres represents the interaction between them. The triple overlap of all three spheres represents Adam (or any person or any group of people acting together) since the person is the only system in our planet which belongs to all three spheres. The person is the most complex system within the ecosphere, the element of the sociosphere, and the source of the technosphere. Because of those different relationships to the three broad aspects of the environment, it is important that the person is represented, as in Figure 1, as interacting with those three different aspects of the environment.

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