In the Industrial Age we lived with an economy based upon atoms. In the Information Age we created an economy based upon bits. The zeros and ones in the title of this column of course represent the digits upon which the Information Age is based.
On 01/04/10 I wrote a column naming the decade 2010-2020 the Transformation Decade, explaining the term and what will come to pass in this decade. As regular readers know I believe we have left the Information Age and entered the Shift Age, hence the title of my book "The Shift Age". Since January first of this year I have been speaking about the reality that 2010-2020 will be the first full decade of the Shift Age and that the first two years of this decade are "digital" years. What I mean by that is that the regular six digit writing of dates in the two years 2010 and 2011 has a number of zero and one dates. This of course is true whether you use the American month first protocol or the European day first protocol. October tenth is 10/10/10 either way, as is 11/11/11.
The last time there were two such digital years was ten years ago and then a hundred years before that. Now I am not a numerologist but I do think there is something to this in the sense that we have two digital years in a row as the transit between the Information and Shift Ages. Of course these two years precede 2012 which is full of portent relative to the Mayan Prophesy and the Age of Aquarius. [2012 will be one of the most disruptive and transformative years of our lives, but that is for future columns]. Simply put, these two digital years seem to be appropriate relative to the inflection point of history through which we are passing.
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The Information Age is now some 35 years on. These 35 years have brought unbelievable, almost incomprehensible change to all our lives. This has been the time when physicality was removed from product, when most forms of content developed non-physical forms. One of the first things that lost its' physicality was money due to electronic fund transfers. How many of us would accept that money would become non-physical in 1975? How many of us accept its digital nature today? How many of us thought 30 years ago that we would be carrying hundreds of "albums" in our pocket, ever ready for listening. How many of us thought we would be carrying a library of books in our briefcase or purse: Bits not atoms. Digits not vinyl or paper
The digital years of 2010 and 2011 – at least in the abbreviated six digit fashion we use – seem to be an appropriate, significant threshold to the coming wonders of the Shift Age and the Transformation Decade.
David Houle is a futurist, strategist and speaker. He has always been slightly ahead the curve. Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. Most recently, David is a featured contributor to Oprah.com. Check is out here www.oprah.com/davidhoule. David can be contacted at David@DavidHoule.com.
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