On How Technologies Made Their Way From a Maid to a Princess and Changed National Economies in the Most Fundamental Way

On How Technologies Made Their Way From a Maid to a Princess and Changed National Economies in the Most Fundamental Way

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4966-6.ch001
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Development of information technologies and their transition from being merely means of communication into the full-scale environment for contemporary business and society in general functioning has become one of the key stimulators for many further socioeconomic transformations at the edge of the centuries. This chapter outlines the key stages in economies' informatization and virtualization of economic relations and of the key institutes of capitalism – market, cost, money and entrepreneurship. The dialectical logic of information technologies' development has led the quantitative growth of their application to their qualitative change as a separate economic sector, thus determining the basis for intellectualization of production and maximization of client orientation in entrepreneurship as well as autonomy of business processes from the traditional means of public administration. Later, all these factors have in turn led to personification of money, individualized marketing and symbolization of cost which under the conditions of virtual economy is gradually losing its objective determination and becomes more and more dependent on rather subjective externalities.
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The Agile State Of Economy’S Technologization

At the very initial stage of their development information technologies had purely communication functions, and this fact very much predetermined all further development of communication technologies which existed (and still do) to guarantee high-quality and relatively cheap connections insider corporations and between them.

The very first generation of information-rich productions can be described by the presence of at least two participants in a communication process – the sender and the receiver of information which was transferred in a coded form according to a specific technology used. Communication channels were supposed to, first of all, guarantee stable and reliable connection and transporting of data. Secondly, they were supposed to cover the maximum possible numbers of parties potentially interested in sending and receiving such information. And thirdly, these channels provided the protection of sensitive information from the unauthorized access and usage by third parties.

Communications of the first generation were directly related and dependent on the material production, the specific features of which guaranteed distribution and use of communications as well as the very contents of information to be transported. This communications means were created and implemented to increase the efficiency of material production processes. At that stage, information field as a production factor did not exist yet (needless to say, same applied to communications as a separate sector).

Information technologies of the second generation already had the capacity to form their own information field which was functioning with a certain degree of independence from production processes. This information field already was a separate production factor which could have been used in production processes, but at the same time it also could maintain its own production potential, consequently, it could have had its own cost and value. Formation of the information field, actually, had started a bit earlier (more specifically – it was a prototype of an information field). It existed even prior to the first information technologies created for processing and storage of information. The creation of early writing systems or the first printing machine, for example, were directly related to people’s desire to save in time the accumulated knowledge by means of establishing a certain channel to transfer this knowledge to others, including future generations.

Figure 1.

The history of IT in its generations


In the process of evolution, the humankind already than, many centuries ago, had accumulated significant volumes of theoretical and applied knowledge which essentially served as the basis for further formation of information field which, in turn, was vital for further progress of economic life.

However, it was the information technologies of the XX century only that managed to overcome the major barrier on the way to real information field creation. They also opened up new opportunities for the every growing numbers of users who needed to connect to information resources so that to use them further in production and other spheres of life. Newer technologies of information storage and information transfer make the process of information global spread extremely cheap. Thus, today even the most modest online storages of information are much larger in volumes than the biggest libraries of the Medieval times or museums of the early capitalism era.

Strictly speaking, the era of information space started in the middle of the previous century, once this information space became truly universal and global, and also easily accessible from nearly any spot on the planet.

Nowadays this information space, thanks to rapid rates of the ongoing technological progress, is also topical to its maximum – that is, it complies to the real, actual situation in the world. It is also as objective as never before (though still not perfect in this regard), since it is able to present all possible viewpoints on the same problem and/or situation.

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