Implementing technological developments

5. As in good baking: Changes in the dominant media in a culture take time and the proper conditions.

  • 30 year rule:
    • Communication technology innovations take approximately 30 years to become "everyday." When innovations "hit," although they were a long time in development, they appear "overnight."
      • This is a corollary with McLuhan's notion about us seeing new media in the rear-view mirror.

  • Ev Rogers' Diffusion Theory (about when technology will "take", not about how news spreads). In order for new technologies to diffuse, they have to meet a number of challenges:
    • Relative advantages? Is the innovation really better?
    • Compatible with current technology?
    • Easy to use?
    • Reliable?
    • Observability/word of mouth? Especially from early adapters.
    • Fidler adds:
    • Bridges of familiarity (especially metaphors/icons).
    • Motivating socio-economic-cultural opportunities.
    • Suppression of radical potential. (we'll return to "control" in later concepts)

  • Technological Complexity Paradox:
    • Increasingly complex technologies are headed for users with decreasing levels of preparation for using technology.

  • Curve of Complexity:U-shaped complexity curve

    • high at first; drops and evens out; then rises sharply with innovations
    • The same technology that simplifies life by providing more functions in each device/process, also complicates life by making the device/process harder to learn and use.

    For concept application note:

    The Great AI Awakening


    The MP3: A History Of Innovation And Betrayal (17 years, not 30 . . . but still . . .)


    We Are Hopelessly Hooked

    Want to Learn more?

    Mark Bauerlein: The Dumbest Generation (esp. chapters 1-4)

    Regarding suppression of radical potential, The International Journal of Communication (IJoC) special feature section, "The Arab Spring & the Role of ICTs." (scroll down to FEATURES then scroll down to the bottom of that section and click the +more features tab)