Macroevolution of Technology

Evolution: Development Within Different Paradigms 6 (11):143-178 (2013)
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What determines the transition of a society from one level of development to another? One of the most fundamental causes is the global technological transformations. Among all major technological breakthroughs in history the most important are the three production revolutions: 1) the Agrarian Revolution; 2) the Industrial Revolution and 3) the Scientific-Information Revolution which will transform into the Cybernetic one. The article introduces the Theory of Production Revolutions. This is a new explanatory paradigm which is of value when analyzing causes and trends of global shifts in historical process. The article describes the course of techno-logical transformations in history and demonstrates a possible application of the theory to explain the present and forthcoming technological changes. The authors argue that the third production revolution that started in the 1950s and which they call the Cybernetic one, in the coming decades, that is in the 2030s and 2040s, will get a new impetus and enter its final stage – the epoch of (self)controllable systems. There are given certain forecasts concerning the development in such spheres as medicine, biotechnologies and nanotechnolo-gies in the coming decades (the 2010s – 2060s).

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Leonid Grinin
National Research University Higher School of Economics


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