Information Maturity Is Undermining the Ancien Regime!

As Marc Andreesen said, Software is eating the world, generating such quantum changes in information volume, variety and availability in its wake, that it universality is imminent. This has the potential to shatter ancient core beliefs that underlie everything we know. Really? Come on!

Yes. Information is very important. It is in fact the basis of everything we experience. How we conceive of information defines how we see ourselves in the world, how we see others, how we chose to relate and act and live, how we organize socially.

And this matters because information now is soooo plentiful, increasingly accessible and shareable in qualitatively different ways and all of which is happening rapidly and at a scale previously unimaginable. It also includes a previously ignored remote population centers and sparsely populated areas globally, inevitably trending toward universality – a first in Humanity History for anything man-made.

With information growing so furiously in volume and variety, increasingly non-feasible to control, and in many situations increasingly free as a result, what is ‘ownership’? What one cannot control one cannot own. This changes the world in a fundamental way. It is changing Information’s role in Human Affairs. No one knows what this means yet.

When that kind of visibility and questioning of the status quo becomes wide spread, individuals, empowered by their new awareness, often ask ‘”why not me?”. This clears long standing obstacles to initiative and autonomy flourishing throughout the general population, rather than being reserved for the particularly bold, daring or needful as it has been to date.

This Information Age has the potential to usher in a new social and economic era, characterized by entrepreneurism, collaboration and sharing rather than employeeism, individualism and hording. In so doing, these dramatic shifts in foundational behaviors collectively pose existential challenges to conventional thinking around recruiting, industries, business law, monetary policy and government. And depending upon if there is enough momentum behind these mega-trends,  no government nor corporate interest will be able to control it alone.

We are undergoing a fundamental socio-economic transformation that cuts across geography and class worldwide. Anyone’s guess how it ends up. And its the proliferation of data and the means to it that is driving History now.

Below is a non-scientific, non-cited, unfinished matrix of how certain social attributes track our information maturity path, by generation.

Generation Greatest Boomers X-ers Millenials
Professional Aspiration steady work management executive entrepreneur
Financial Aspiration A house with a yard and livable retirement A large house and luxury retirement A modern home and working retirement Amenities, live at home, no retirement
Work ethic fight to work work to live live to work work is play
Employment expectations FTE FTE FTE, Sub-contracting As needed
Employment expectations lifetime right to work need to work want to work
Proximity onsite onsite distributed distributed
Pension paradigm employer funded employer + employee funded employer sponsored / employee funded employee funded
Accountability paradigm heirarchical organizational tribal communities-of-interest
Geographic identity local regional national global
Civic virtue kin and kind nationalist post-nationalist humanist
Civic allegiance establishmentarian establishmentarianism but questioning and experimenting revolutionary establishmentarians (believe in cyclicality) evolutionary humanism
Organizational inclination team mates team leadership team-builders community builders
Power structure Unitary Centralized Federated Confederated
Patriarchy male-dominant male-centered gender equality gender-spectrum inequity
Economic base Industrial Consumer Service Knowledge
Information Maturity Information was etheral like air, water and land Information was useful and should be used sparingly and protected to maintain the value it provides in decision making Information is an asset that should be managed and governed to protect its integrity while being used as widely as possible to optimize its value to Information is universal, increasingly plentiful, and the very substance of business despite being of intrinsically transient value at best

So, in the spirit of sharing, I offer this food for thought. Please share yours.

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