Weber used bureaucracy as the critical method for control of the societal forces
Bureaucracy: a system of government consisting of many levels in which tasks, responsibilities, and authority are delegated among individuals, offices, or departments- and they are held together by a central administration
Control of production was facilitated by the continuing organization and pre-processing of industrial operations
Machinery itself continued to develop and was controlled by new information-processing technologies
Industrial innovations such as: - James Watt’s steam governor (1788) - Pre-programmed open-loop controllers like the Jacquard loom (1801) - Interchangeable parts (after 1800) - Integration of production within factories (1820s and 1830s) - Henry Ford’s modern assembly line (after 1913)
Hypothesis: - The information society emerged in response to the 19th century crisis control
By 1960 the information sector is more than 40% of the U.S. Labour Force.
Today closer to 50%
The most important in social implications of the have been in the progressive convergence of all information technologies – mass media, telecommunications and computing, into a single infrastructure of control at the most macro level.
Increasing Digitization of Information will only perpetuate the need for further control. - Both over the information as well as the variables in play.
Digitization makes communication from people to machines, between machines and even from machines to people as easy as it is for face to face interactions.
Digitization promises to transform currently diverse forms of information into a generalized medium for processing and exchange by social systems.
Implications of digitization may be as profound for macrosociology as the institution of money was for macroeconomics.
Chapter 40: The Social Shape of Electronics Main Idea This article assumes there is an intricate and symbiotic relationship between media and data collection/storing/analysis – speaks to two trajectories: development of modern media and development of computers
August 19th, 1839 à daguerreotype process unveiled. This is the birth of photography and in a sense, technological visual media. Landscapes were very popular, and exposure times were compatible with human portraits. The result was a great leap in the quality of media.
In the same decade, Babbage begins designing “the analytical engine.” Most of the key features of the modern computer: Input into central memory/processing core that can be recalled and manipulated. However, this machine was never physically reproduced
Result: Daguerreotype means massive leap in our ability to reproduce reality in a multitude of forms, while our ability to process, record and manipulate this information lags behind
“ Both media machines and computing machines were absolutely necessary for the functioning of modern mass societies. The ability to disseminate the same texts, images, and sounds to millions of citizens-thus assuring the same ideological beliefs- was as essential as the ability to keep track of their birth records, employment records, medical records, and police records.”
Computers = easy storage and dissemination of the hard data of peoples lives
This is the crucial decade for the development of both media and computing.
Media = Lumiere brothers use their “cinematography camera/projection hybrid” to bring the first moving picture films to audiences.
Computing = Hollreith Tabulator. Example of US census bureau adopting the use of tabulating machines for the 1890 census, and opening the door for the use of “calculators” in all important industries (e.g. insurance)
20th Century – Media and Computing become entwined
Key year is 1936
The Turing Machine – operates by reading and writing numbers on an endless tape that was advanced each time data needed to be read, or to write the next result.
Interestingly, the word cinematograph means “writing movement” which ostensibly means that film media is essentially recording and storing data in material form. Basically saying that the Turing Machine and the process of cinematography are similar both in physical appearance and in terms of how they record/organize/process information
Computers – computer can now perform complex visual tasks (manipulating images) and can even perform complex recognition and manipulation tasks with these images or groups of images. No longer a simple analytical engine, it becomes a “media synthesizer and manipulator”
Media – “ all existing media are translated into numerical data accessible to the computer. The result: Graphics, moving images, sounds, shapes, spaces and texts become computable…can be manipulated into simple sets of computer data. Media + Computers = new media