Information Society and Commercialization of High-Tech Products
The very important idealogue who was a Marxist before, his ideas transformed to liberal - conservative structure of thought, Daniel Bell was the first person who defined the society as “Information Society” which is outgoing from the traditional forms of society as once Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, Talcott Parsons and many other eminent sociologists had tried to developed. It was conceptualized by the theorist during 1970’s, which can be seen in his Opus Magnum: The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, the years that the idea were encountered by many people as meaningless. The new independence movements had gone wider such as in Algeria or Vietnam and tough social movements, global oil crises came all together in 1970’s which were prevent the people of free think of Bell’s “post-industrial society” definition. But later on, whilst people were not pay much attention on what he presciently concerned, he insisted on his theories as writing the second book; The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. In these works, he heralded the rising of new information society that deemed as a positive transformation by the theorist rather than assuming it with critical. In these years, media thinkers were split into two different parts as one were tackled this new kind of society as sociologically problematic structure while the others had positive views about it. All in all, the discussions over the issue has never be clipped and many more academicians, scholars, intellectuals and authors still have some contradictions about it.
How and in which way this definition arose from? What is the sociological base that it transformed from? When we look back into the sociological background, we must say that August Comte, the founder of the sociology discipline as a social science was announced the modern society as a result of exceeding the traditional one. Afterwards, Emile Durkheim took the modern society as a matter of fact that no need to exceed which he saw it as a prescription of anomic society in his Grand Theory. Differently, Karl Marx, assumed that the problem is in the modern society’s itself, not in individuals and iner problems of society has to be resolved by raveling the modern capitalist structure of society. He had told how the modern society would get rid of its own problems in his preeminent works. Although, during 19th century Marx’s theories were not taken into consideration as scholarly all along the academical ground but they had rather accepted the critics of mass society.
What is the Difference of Post- Industrial Society according to Daniel Bell?
The difference comes from the changing structure of power in a rule of society. The source of power has changed from possession of agents of production to possessing information. The generating of power is not taking the control of agents of production any more, but getting more information for obtaining power to rule. For this reason, the new type of society is now a different formation, it’s not solely capitalist society any more. On the contrary, some are arguing that the post- industrial society is only a different form of modern capitalist society, still has to be exceeding.
So, who has the power of rule in this information society? And how such a power can taken by them? The answers for all these questions are definitely related with today’s technological developments and who processing them. Acquiring of power of rule deeply depend on the fact that by selling how quickly the technological products to how many people. If one wants to detail this determination, it should better to be looked at the fascination and commercialization times of the products. What is we called “fascination time” can be understood that one who seen the technological product as a miracle. The result of desire to show off by getting a high-tech product is naturally starting to commercialization of it. Now, we can take a look at the fascination / commercialization times of the breakthrough innovations.
Technological Bouncing after WW1&WW2
Source: Internet searching and gathered by Mustafa Tütüncü.
The gap between fascination time and commercialization of the product is keep narrowing accurately when one take a look at the graphic above. The years that a product reach to an audience of 50 million is accelareting clearly. While the telephone had been popular for 50 million people after 75 years, the radio which came after the telephone invention had almost doubled the speed of reaching to those 50 million. When we look at the number of TV, it had only taken 13 years to reach, where internet technology reduce this number by over a third. For Facebook, probably the most popular social media site in the world was needed for only 3.5 years to make 50 million users to sign up. Ipod, a spectecular inovation of retro-walkmans took 3 years to sold over 50 million people as a whole. But today’s world, an application which is written for Iphone spread at speed as much as it can do, the statictics are shown us that only 50 days enough for reaching 50 million people in the world. The most amazing number comes for Angry Birds, the most popular digital game for all times which has needed only 35 days to achieve it. The condensing between Fascination / Commercialization times of the technological products are clearly show that the conseption of information society should be acceptable for those who work within the media studies.