About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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Brain Waves

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November 16, 2004

What Drives Great Surges of Development?

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Carlota Perez has a clue:

"Great surges of development represent the gradual integral transformation of both the techno-economic and the socio-institutional spheres of the social system, through the assimilation a cluster of converging technologies. A great surge leads to structural changes in production, distribution, communication and consumption, leading to profound qualitative social changes. Society, in turn, influences the path taken by the revolution."

Earlier this year the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published The Coevolution of Human Potential and Converging Technologies. It is a compendium of 16 papers that discuss different aspects of the 2003 NBIC conference held in Los Angeles.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NeuroWave 2050


1. Adam Fish on November 16, 2004 10:02 PM writes...

"...through the assimilation a cluster of converging technologies."

A reductive statement. If you are merely talking about industrial, post-industrial, and information societies --a very miniscule percentage of our total human history-- is still not accurate because it downplays cognitive culture and up-plays material culture. The problem is that the calculus is technologically deterministic. Originality orginates in cognition, is carried by embodied minds, where it makes its structural significance, before, much later, materializing into tools and toys. Applying Marxian materialism to the trans-human-scape is simple for us in the post-industrial/information blogsphere logging 15 hours a day on-line. It is more important and challenging to develop an integrated model of the mechanics for organic creativity, its boundary-cross/ing-fertilizations, than its actualization in things.

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2. RJDuberg on November 17, 2004 10:41 AM writes...

To say society "in turn" influences the revolution's path is tantamount to answering a final with "X or something". This is a clear veil over what is the essential issue by this author is with its complete lack of insight into even a first new or constructive meta-relation from which general understanding can take root and grow into a possile revolutionary moment.

Any author must reconcile themselves with this balance between their meaning imparted capable of being extended through an audience analysis among higher dimensions inclusive (or revolutionarily inpsired, or something ).

If they are to earn the true credibility which intelligent readers will give, opening the literary channels wherein yet another influence might be meta-ascertained, then; such statements as the one referred to in beginning post and above offers nothing in true distinctive info. It is a path leading nowhere if one considers the simple arithmetic described wherein the (any) result by zero produces nothing. "X or something" is slyly stated opinion on speculation at heart and if languaged well will slip by the economic review thereby gaining "influence" on a consuming and funding resource in the world for which access is proportionate to commercial success.

Hopefully, you've been able to evaluate a certain dimension of info in my analysis here which answers in substance what I've assessed in principle is key and a breakdown to the initial post's opening quote.


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