The Control Revolution is a book by James Beniger that explains the origins of the information society in part from the need to manage and control the. The Control Revolution. Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society. James R. Beniger. Harvard University Press. Cambridge. Book Reviews: The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society James R. Beniger Publisher: Harvard University Press.
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A very well founded and “clear” — to a certain extent — demonstration of how material systems –human or “non human”– get to such complex stages of structural organization to sustain information processing. The more startling insights or new perspectives for me were schedules and insurance. By means of rationalization it is possible to maintain a large-scale, complex social systems that would be overwhelmed by a rising tide of information they could not process were it necessary to goven by particularistic considerations of family and kin that characterize revloution societies.
Now my secret adoration for the postal and library systems can finally fee I think I was in dire need for a book like this, seeing how much it helped me in the understanding of certain ideas. He defines three problems for control: Tne my secret adoration for the postal and library systems can jzmes feel historically justified. His nonsense books, mo ….
His story begins in the mids t When did the transfer of information come to replace material goods? He proposes two methods for controlling large social systems: Information technology is a combination of computing and communication, both of which have occured to information technology in the latter half of the 19th century. Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society.
He shows that information processing, communication and control are ancient functions that exist in even the simplest living system; however, they did not surface as a concept until the rise of the Information Society. Yet, absent sufficient information, adequately structured and delivered, those organizations would not have been able to control that new capability and power.
Aug 04, John rated it it was amazing Shelves: He also makes barely any mention of religion. Tomas rated it liked it Dec 06, I’ve so integrated what Beniger taught me that I’m no longer sure where his thinking ends and mine starts.
Durkheim noted that as society moved from local segmented markets to higher levels organization, it brought with it a need for greater information flow, a growing integratedness of society. Dec 21, Emily rated it it was amazing.
Yet, absent sufficient information, adequately structured and delivered, those organizations would not have been able to control that new capability and power Read it once and it changed the arc of my thinking and my professional career. The ckntrol is about information processing and communication technology.
In the USA, applications of steam power in the early s brought a dramatic rise in the speed, volume and complexity of industrial processes, making them difficult to control. Bureaucracy was the first big answer to this crisis of control and information.
It would make sense if the US confrol the center of the Control Revolution, but it would be good to get more of an explanation as to why. Steve rated it it was amazing Jun 02, Beniger shows that more recent developments in microprocessors, computers and telecommunications are only a smooth continuation of this Control Revolution.
In fact Beniger would have it that the information had to accompany the industrial revolution for industrial tools made organizations more capable or powerful.
The response to this crisis amounted to a revolution in societal control. Weber identified another control technology he called rationalization.
Computers combined the two technologies, which drove both of them to new stages of development continuously.
Communication and computation technologies had grown separately until digital computers emerged after the Second Revolutioj War.
Its role was to fill the gap between availability of numerous technological possibilities which have occurred by the industrial revolution that had taken place a century ago and the immature social infrastructure that blocked their realization. Larry Owens rated it really liked it Feb 25, Two things also seemed to be missing.
Jul 09, Ron Davison rated it it was amazing. Beniger traces the causes of change from the middle to late ninteenth century — to a crisis of control — generated by the industrial revolution in manufacturing and transportation.
But all in all, Beniger provides a new perspective countering much of the pessimistic, doomsday views people espouse when it comes to technological change. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Lost that one in a fire along with home and office. An account of the deveopment of contemporary technologies of information and communication as apparatus of control for complex and fast societies.
And why is this change recent—or is it?
Beniger — The Control Revolution
Technology is the external intension of the natural process. Jan 27, Seneda rated it it was amazing.
Why did the Information Society seemingly occur so rapidly? Why do we find ourselves living in an Information Society? Beniger exhaustively surveys the industrial landscape, from materials processing to production to transport to distribution, digging up every kind of feedback mechanism from thermostats to cereal box-top contests and placing it in the context of an ongoing narrative of broadening and deepening control capacities.
The book is impressive revoluyion only for the breadth of its scholarship but also for the subtle force of its argument. His case studies are fascinating – he makes Quaker Oats seem exotic, and the orig This book came at the right time and changed my thinking about so many things.
The Control Revolution
It will be welcomed by sociologists, economists, historians of science and technology, and all curious in general. He shows that the answers to our questions concerning information society lie in physical existence, and that bureaucracy, and thus Technology, is a product of society, which is a product of our very emergence from inorganic dust.
David Garber rated it really liked it Jul 13, Kirsten rated it really liked it Oct 19, Anna Maria rated it liked it Jul 21, Alan Brenner rated it really liked it Jan 31, Revolutionn book is impressive not only for the breadth of its scholarship but also for the subtlety and force of its argument. He even describes technology as a natural extension of man, extending functions such as respiration or memory.