We find ourselves in an age where almost everything is digital, from our phones, cable TV, the internet, monitors and even fridges and washing machines. Well, they do have mechanical components but the gist of things is that the world is moving in a direction which seems to be favoring digital technology over analogue. Is that going to continue to happen or is digital technology going to be only a part of our world?
What is the Digital Revolution?
The Digital Revolution is also called the Third Industrial Revolution, signalling a change from mechanical and analogue technology. The First Industrial Revolution brought about mechanization and using water and steam as power. The Second Industrial REvolution brought us electricity and mass production.
Thus comes the Digital Revolution which is still taking place, a methodical shift from analogue to digital technology. There is also a Fourth Revolution, one which is yet to happen, which brings about a shift to cybernetics.
What did the Digital Revolution Bring?
Some of the most important discoveries which are still shaping our world are digital logic circuits. They brought about computers, phones and the internet, all of the things which are changing our world. We also have digital TV, artificial intelligences, self-driving cars, robots with various functions and a lot more. But is our future going to be digital?
A Fully Digital Future is Next to Impossible
Having a future which is fully digital is highly unlikely. Take a look at guitar amplifiers. Vacuum tubes were used for a long time, and they have what is called a classic tone. Once solid state or transistor amplifiers were created, as a much cheaper, lighter and more versatile way of playing, people still bought the more expensive and heavier vacuum tube amplifiers.
Today, the story is the same except both types of amplifiers are much more advanced in every aspect. The analogue tone of the vacuum tube amps is still cherished by guitar players and not just them, but audiophiles alike.
Having a future without analogue or strictly mechanical devices is impossible. Many people will not give up on their 3 or 4 decade old vehicles, keeping them for as long as possible. They may need a lot more fuel but their owners would still choose them over a new car.
Mass Production Lead to Cheap Products
While cheap products are not inherently bad, they are in some cases worse than their predecessors which are much more expensive yet two decades older. Some people sell old guitars for twenty times their initial price, just because they are from the 1960s. Some instruments have a very good reputation, especially those which are made out of wood. The older, the better.
Likewise, newer products may be accessible to everyone, but that does not mean they are better so people often turn to the expensive ones, sacrificing price for quality.
Whether we continue to be a changing society depends completely on us. People create devices and people make them expensive or cheap. What our future entails will depend solely on us.