Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rifkin on the third industrial revolution

Jeremy Rifkin has a new article today in the World Financial Review. For the most part it is a rehash of his earlier material. One new aspect I found interesting is 3-D manufacturing, and the technology that allows for it. As usual I appreciate that as a result of the third industrial revolution (TIR) "the traditional, hierarchical organization of economic and political power will give way to lateral power organized nodally across society."* All the TIR tech and accompanying philosophy he talks about is NOW, not some future fantasy. I'd think it would behoove integralites of any stripe to get with the real frothy (foamy?) edge, eh? Perhaps the TIR is also the super-integral, translucent (no color-coded) third tier?

Some of the enactments necessary to advance and sustain the TIR are as follows: "(1) shifting to renewable energy; (2) transforming the building stock of every continent into micro–power plants to collect renewable energies on-site; (3) deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies; (4) using Internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an energy internet that acts just like the Internet (when millions of buildings are generating a small amount of renewable energy locally, on-site, they can sell surplus green electricity back to the grid and share it with their continental neighbors); and (5) transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid."

So ask yourself: Of the US budget proposals I've highlighting recently, which comes closest to this evolutionary roadmap? And which country(ies) are implementing it right now?

* We see this same meme propagating philosophically in the likes of Deleuze and Latour, for example. Hence my recent posts about an alternative (developmentally superior?) lateral imaging of "complexity" as foam or rhizomes instead of hierarchical and ever-enveloping spheres or holons.

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