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Introduction JOSEPH V. CHARYK The papers in this volume reflect an attempt to balance two competing views on the way that information technologies and social institutions interact. In particular, in designing the symposium upon which this volume is based we tried to strike a balance between the optimism often generated by technological potentials and the pessimism that sometimes accompanies a cursory examination of how technology may alter the quality of life. If there is a single theme to this volume it is a considered evaluation of the mutual adaptation between information technology and social institutions. How do businesses, families, and the legal system accommodate new technologies and what will change as a result of their accommodation? To what extent are developments in information technologies driven by the desire to do things differently in homes or businesses? Will the flow of information across national borders allowed by advancing information technologies~hange the character of international relations between industrialized nations? In the abstract, questions concerning the rate and direction of mutual adaptation between technology and society are of importance to the scholars of technological evolution. On a less abstract level the same questions may be of interest to individuals in two ways. First, in their capacity as representatives of institutions individuals seek to under- stand the direction and character of change in their institutions and in the wodd in which the institutions function. Second, in their capacity as participants in society individuals are inherently interested in the future they are likely to experience. It is our hope that the theme of

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2 JOSEPH V. CHAR YK accommodation between technology and social institutionsreflected both within individual papers and between competing arguments in different papers will be of interest to those reading in either capacity. In the first paper John Mayo reviews the recent history and probable futures of several information technologies including integrated circuits, computing technology, software, and photonics. Particularly interesting is the overview of likely futures he provides by working through some relatively simple calculations of the physical limits on existing tech- nologies. Additionally, Mayo discusses the forces that drive change (both social considerations and the push of technological possibilities) and the gates (economic considerations and social predispositions, for example) that control the rate of change. These elements the driving forces and the gates- set the stage for discussing the changing character and use of existing technologies and allow the elaboration of possible scenarios for future development of emerging technologies. In the second paper Melvin Kranzberg uses historical analysis to understand the social and technological changes that may be brought about by changing information technologies. Kranzberg compares the classical Industrial Revolution to the potential information revolution in our own time. Kranzberg's analysis leads him to conclude that we are indeed facing a social revolution and that the revolution is driven not only by changing information technologies but by interaction between social institutions and a wide range of technological innova- tions. Information technologies will evolve in, and contribute to, a social revolution brought on by rapid changes in energy, materials, and industrial management technology and made up of changing social nods, economic conditions, and attitudes toward science and tech- nology. Additionally, Kranzberg offers an interesting interpretation of cul- tural lag, the slowness with which social institutions respond to changing technology. If nothing else, cultural lag is evidence that culture imposes its will albeit unconsciously and in a somewhat disorganized wayon the development and use of new technologies. The important insight that accompanies this observation is that tech- nology is a "quintessential human activity . . . it bears the contradic- tions the 'goods' and 'bade' to be found in all complex human activities.,' Mayo and Kranzberg, taken together, lay the foundation for the volume. Mayo focused specifically on changes in the technology of information handling. His unit of analysis is a particular technology, and he is persuasive about the direction of development of specific information technologies. Mayo is a technological insider taking a very

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INTRODUCTION 3 informed look out from the specifics of information technologies; the power of his arguments comes from comparing the development of existing information technologies to the likely development of emerging technologies, and from comparing the potentials of competing emerging technologies. Kranzberg, in contrast, chose as his analytical unit not the technology but rather the process of change in the organization of social institutions. As a result, his paper places changes in information technology in a broader perspective in terTns of other technologies and social institutions. Kranzberg stands somewhat outside the specifics of information technology and looks broadly both at the place any particular technology can hold in a social transformation and at the role that information technology may hold in current social transfor- mations. Mayo and Kranzberg together identify the tremendous potentials of information technologies and place those potentials in perspective both historically and relative to other current technological changes. Each of the other four authors takes a particular slice of the issue of interest by discussing the interactions between information technologies and different specific social institutions. The papers by Harlan Cleveland and Anne Branscomb are almost exactly paired to explicate a debate over the adaptability of important social institutions. Cleveland, in his paper on the twilight of hierarchies, takes a broad look at five hierarchies that have served as means of social organization, and considers how advancing information tech- nologies may erode the forces that have historically held those hierarchies together. He examines hierarchies of power based on control, of influence based on secrecy, of class based on ownership, of privilege based on early access, and of politics based on geography. He sees dramatic potential for change in a wide range of human endeavor as a result of emerging information technologies. Anne Branscomb focuses on a specific social institutionthe U.S. legal systemand examines how that institution will adapt to changing information technologies, particularly the information-based property rights accorded to individuals. Branscomb's focus is explicitly on the manner in which the legal system adapts. She finds, in her analysis of recent case law and legislation relating to property rights in information, evidence that the system is changing in a way that is consistent with the existing structure. Branscomb seems convinced that the current legal system will adapt effectively to changing information technologies. Cleveland and Branscomb appear to disagree, but, on close exami- nation, one finds that the disagreement is not over process but over degree. Both recognize that social institutions will adapt; it is in the

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4 JOSEPH V. CHAR YE nature of institutions to change in response to changing conditions, and some institutions, like the legal system, are specifically designed to be adaptive. The disagreement comes in hypothesizing about whether the rules that have guided and facilitated change in the past will be adequate to accommodate this particular dramatic technological change. The question lies in whether the changed form of an institution will be recognizable. Will it function in the same manner and be capable of serving the same goals? Branscomb asserts, implicitly, that the legal system is resilient and effective. Cleveland argues that the adaptation required by this new technology will fundamentally alter the character of many of our institution& including how the U.S. legal system vests individuals with information-based property rights. Their disagreement over degree of adaptation will be settled, not surprisingly, only by time and experience. Walter Baer and Theodore Gordon, like Anne Branscomb, work close to the interaction between information technologies and a particular social system. Baer, in his paper on information technologies in the home, divides the activities in the home into four major types- working at home, doing chores at home, learning at home, and relaxing at homeand considers the impact of more powerful and pervasive information technology on each type of activity. In each of the four cases Baer is cautious about the effects of technological advance. Particularly persuasive is his hypothesis that both time budgets and money budgets play an important role in determining the use of information technologies in the home. The time savings rather than the money savings- realized by providing home buying services or financial services are perhaps the most important force pulling these services into the home. Additionally, new services brought to the home through emerging infonnation technologies, especially entertain- ment services, will compete with television, radio, neighborhood softball games, and casual family conversation for a relatively scarce minute of available leisure time. Gordon, in his paper on information technologies in business, selects four examples of the way that information technologies may affect business and develops each example by explaining a likely path for development and then hypothesizing about the consequences. Partic- ularly interesting are Gordon's discussions of the impact of program- mable automation on employment and of the implications of computer simulation for training. Though Gordon sees substantial change in business operations due to information technologies, he expresses some doubts that the character of business will change. In the end business still "takes raw matenals, adds value, and sells products."

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INTRODUCTION 5 This is fundamentally the same cautious note that Baer strikes by consistently reminding the reader that information technologies are more likely to follow the desires and predispositions of individuals than to lead them. Though there are similarities between the likely experiences of businesses and homes in adapting to information technologies, there are also important differences. The most important difference in likely experience derives from the fact that businesses are organized primarily for profit while homes exist to satisfy a wide range of individual human needs. Businesses, since they are organized to serve less diverse goals, may be more adaptive to opportunities provided by technology than are individuals or family units. The potentials of information technol- ogies would seem to lie more, for example, in reducing the cost of business operations than in improving the quality of companionship or child rearing in the home. Like any treatment of a broad topic, this volume does not address a number of issues of great interest. In particular: How will emerging information technologies affect educational institutions and federal, state, and local governments? How will international political activities be influenced through the potential availability of secure voice and teleconferencing facilities and data bases the advent of sophisticated "hot lines"? Direct mail, made possible by the potentials of inexpensive computing, has already revolutionized constituency contact and fund raising in industry associations, professional societies, charitable organizations, and political coalitions. How will continuing development of information technologies affect the activities of these organizations in the l990s? How will the merger of previously regulated telecommunications entities and competitive unregulated information-processing firms evolve? What will determine who will own, operate, and control high-cost facilities serving multiple needs where duplication of facilities is economically or operationally unrealistic? How will critical decisions be made as to allocations and use of naturally limited facilities (frequencies and satellite orbital locations)? - Will restrictions be applied to the kinds of services that various entities are permitted to provide and, if so, is it possible to enforce them in the totally digital environment that is rapidly emerging? - What forces will guide the emergence of communications standards and where will that guidance lead? What role will the standards that emerge play in determining the direction for the research and development that will bring us the next generation of information technologies? What role will state utility commissions and local port authorities play in determining what service will be available? As information flow across international boundaries explodes and political

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6 JOSEPH V. ClIARYK control becomes more and more impotent in the new infonnation tech- nology world, what international organizations or mechanisms will emerge or should be created to ensure international order and cooperation? Are there public interest or universal service considerations that should be elements of U.S. information policy, and how will they be defined and implemented? The list goes on. Nonetheless, the six papers in this volume, with the comments offered by the discussant for each paper, provide an introductionand a few steps beyond to the manner in which infor- mation technologies are forcing, and being shaped by, transformations in a range of social institutions. Even more importantly, the papers in this volume may offer examples of a manner of thinking about technology and social change that readers can use to understand the technology-driven social transformation where they work and live. That, anyway, is our hope. This introduction would be incomplete without acknowledging the invaluable role played by Bruce Guile in planning, organizing, and bringing together the contributions represented in this volume. His energy and initiative were crucial to the success of this program.