Three Waves

300px-Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa2

Futurist Alvin Toffler writes that there have been three waves in the development of technology.

The first wave was agriculture, which replaced the hunter-gatherer cultures and centred on human labour.

The second wave began with the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution brought with it mass production, distribution, consumption, education, media etc..

The third wave arrived with the information age. The information age is marked by demassification and customization.

The contrast between traditional broadcast television and Netflix exemplifies the difference between second wave and third wave technologies. With traditional broadcast television, we are forced to watch programs on a certain schedule. With Netflix, we choose what to watch and when to watch it.

Undoubtedly, legal services will be disrupted by the arrival of the information age. Instead of trying to regulate away disruption, lawyers need to develop the next generation of legal services. The equivalent of Netflix to traditional broadcast television.

 

Advertisements