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Title: The digital and natural worlds: crisis or challenge?
Author: Denis Loveridge
Address: Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, Manchester, M15 6PB, UK
Abstract: The digital world appeared 80 years ago. Little attention was paid to it until WW II when code breaking became of paramount importance. The subsequent evolution of the electronics industry was challenge driven typical of a digital world of technical specialists, a situation that existed until the arrival of consumer electronics. The digital world quickly became ubiquitous acquiring an unstoppable momentum, especially once parallel developments in software created the so-called 'killer' applications. The digital worlds' ubiquitous penetration of human societies raised the spectre of a crisis between existence and extinction, an ever-present phenomenon throughout human existence. The crisis takes many interconnected forms perceived as a cascade of situations containing many turning points involving multiple and interconnected themes. For this reason the paper suggests that all research be underlain by the notion of a crisis in preference to that of a challenge based on well-defined problem-solving. The digital world will shape all lives well into the future, providing mutual existence in opposition to extinction.
Keywords: challenges; crises; digital world; existence; extinction; horizons; innovation; invention; research.
Int. J. of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2016 Vol.11, No.1/2/3, pp.148 - 166
Date of acceptance: 28 Apr 2016
Available online: 15 Aug 2016