The progress of human society lies in increasing productivity, and increasing productivity lies in division of labor, and effectiveness of division of labor depends on efficiency and timeliness of information transfer. because if you don't know what other side is good at, other side Where and how to organize different people together for a reasonable division of labor? Therefore transmission of information and feedback is an important prerequisite for social progress. On this issue, most people have a consensus. It is because of extreme importance of information that every change in collection, transmission and processing of information will lead to huge changes in productivity. The following article mainly deals with several stages and future trends of influence of information on human life since dawn of human society.
Whether in primitive or modern society, process of gathering, transmitting and processing information exists, but there are obvious differences in efficiency and speed. The development of information can be divided into following stages:1 The era of materialization of information - presence or absence of information
In primitive times, people communicated mainly using gestures, facial expressions, voices, etc., relying on state of human body. Not in main. People use these methods to identify needs of their peers and give warnings to keep them alive. Gathering information in this stage mostly relies on experience and instinctive responses, while communication relies mostly on body movements, sounds, etc., and information processing relies mostly on human mind . one man.
At this stage, collection, processing and transmission of information is characterized by low accuracy, low efficiency, a single form of transmission and limited distance. For example, if strangers gesticulate together for a long time, not knowing what other party wants to express, form of information after collection often depends on characteristics of communicator itself. Therefore, accuracy of information depends on familiarity of two parties in communication. The more familiar people communicate with each other, faster and higher efficiency. The communication constrained by this at this stage is mainly concentrated within tribe.2 Era of Information Standardization — Information Standardization
The appearance of language and writing is a sharp difference between era of civilization and era of materialization, because there is language and writing. Firstly, collection of information has become more plentiful and specific: for example, before a sheep could only gesticulate, but now it can describe its size, color, number, gender, etc.; range of transmission is greatly expanded, and through language and text, information can be received by more remote areas. And all this did not exist before advent of writing and language.
At this stage, information standardization is a key factor for a significant increase in efficiency of collecting, transmitting and processing information. People started to move away from some personalized expressions and adopted some standardized characters and language to replace previous non-standardized information. Due to increase in amount of information and speed of transmission, geographical conditions have reduced restrictions on human thinking, thereby giving rise to civilization. In human society, a group of people have started processing information, such as extracting philosophy, or processing information, such as compiling books, and so on.3 Carrier Lightweight Era - Information Carrier
In era of standardization, main changes are in expression of information, but medium is still main obstacle limiting civilization and further division of labor, because ordinary things such as bamboo sticks and sheepskins are relatively expensive goods, significantly reduce scope of dissemination of information and number of people. Only with invention of paper did this situation really change. The invention of paper is another milestone as cost and weight of paper is much lower than other media, greatly reducing cost of information transfer. Under initial conditions of cost, more information can be transferred. Information and additional transfer of information can create more value, thereby increasing demand for collecting, transmitting and processing information, thereby contributing to demand for informatization.
The spread of human civilization has accelerated since invention of paper. World information began to spread across continents, and ordinary people began to receive education and knowledge, not to mention cattle and sheep. Social productivity has increased significantly. At this stage, due to lightness of information carrier, speed of information dissemination accelerates, and communication begins to become mainstream, people from different villages, ethnic groups and continents often begin to communicate. , and division of labor begins to deepen even more. For example, China's four major inventions taught Europe and catalyzed development of European civilization, Buddhism spread to China, and so on.4 The era of electrification - speed of information
The invention of paper played a key role in development of human society and dissemination of information. However, for a long time after birth of paper, world's technological progress was very slow, because although cost of transmitting information has dropped significantly, transfer rate is still limited by physical distance, and return speed is too low . However, the development of human information transmission is two-way, feedback is required, if it takes a long time to receive feedback after transmission, time in middle will be significantly wasted, due to the efficiency of division of labor decreases. Before invention of wired telephones and radio receivers, speed of information transfer was greatly increased, up to a second. Significant events were Bell's invention of telephone in 1876 and Marconi's successful experiment in transmitting radio waves in 1895.
The invention of radio and telephone has led to an explosion in volume of information, as information can be quickly returned, processed and retransmitted. Human society began to develop at an accelerated pace, and in past 100 years since then, mankind has experienced most glorious age.5 The Computer Age - Information Processing
In previous several processes, problems of information existence, information standardization, information carrier and speed of information were respectively solved, so that speed of information dissemination began to increase significantly, and efficiency of division of labor gradually increased. However, power of human brain has gradually become an obstacle to next step, because total amount of information is growing rapidly. The division of labor is no longer prevented by transfer of information, but by its processing. No matter how fast information spreads, it's inefficient if it's raw information sent back and forth. Value can only be created by processing information.
The invention of computer solved problem of information processing speed. After many years of development, current processing speed has changed dramatically. For example, a supercomputer released by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in United States in 2018 has a peak floating point speed of 2 billion billion operations per second.6. The age of Internet - collecting information
After addressing issues of accessibility, standardization, dissemination, and speed of information processing, we will find that compared to speed of human processing, shortcomings of information gathering begin to show up. Because previous collection method is a tree-like flat structure that spreads upward layer by layer, acquisition speed becomes basically processing speed. It wasn't until invention of internet that people began to use grid, and collection of information represented a 3D tree structure instead of 2D.
The 3D tree structure greatly increased speed of gathering information and further expanded source of information. So far, in era of mobile Internet, everyone is collecting real-time data and uploading it to upper layer. There is no need to talk more about changes that Internet has brought to man, because this is exactly what we are currently experiencing, this is what happened in world of human fiction 50 years ago, it is realized now and will be surpassed in future.
The above are main processes of human informatization so far. We can find a problem, time of these stages of information is getting shorter and shorter, for example, it is approaching 1800 years from invention of paper to invention of radio, but only 70 years have passed from radio to computer age. , while computers It's only been 30 years since Internet era. Since all aspects of collecting, transmitting and processing information are gradually being improved, information resistance encountered in development is becoming less and less.So what's future direction?
1) Information processing
When collection speed increased, processing speed problem became a short board again. Thus, with big data and cloud computing, main problem is to solve problem of information processing efficiency. There is no fastest, only faster, not best, only better.
2) Collection of information
There is still room for improvement in information gathering. Information collection is currently insufficient. In future, it will change from 2D to 3D, from passive collection to active, and from object to illusory, such as high-definition satellite, artificial intelligence, self-driving and so on.
3) Dissemination of information
Although current transmission speed is very high compared to past, requirements for speed and reliability of information transmission in future will be higher and higher, as well as requirements for transmission distance, such as 5G; At level of universe, current information transfer rate is still too low, and there is still room to increase it.
As for more detailed direction, we need to study it together.