knowner island

knowner island

This statement represents the cumulative wisdom and innovation of many dozens of people. It is based primarily on the thoughts of four "co-authors": Ms. Esther Dyson; Mr. George Gilder; Dr. George Keyworth; and Dr. Alvin Toffler. This release 1.2 has the final "imprimatur" of no one. In the spirit of the age: It is copyrighted solely for the purpose of preventing someone else from doing so. If you have it, you can use it any way you want. However, major passages are from works copyrighted individually by the authors, used here by permission; these will be duly acknowledged in release 2.0. It is a living document. Release 2.0 will be released in October 1994. We hope you'll use it is to tell us how to make it better. Do so by:

(The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a not-for-profit research and educational organization dedicated to creating a positive vision of the future founded in the historic principles of the American idea.)


The central event of the 20th century is the overthrow of matter. In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth -- in the form of physical resources -- has been losing value and significance. The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things.

In a First Wave economy, land and farm labor are the main "factors of production." In a Second Wave economy, the land remains valuable while the "labor" becomes massified around machines and larger industries. In a Third Wave economy, the central resource -- a single word broadly encompassing data, information, images, symbols, culture, ideology, and values -- is actionable knowledge.

The industrial age is not fully over. In fact, classic Second Wave sectors (oil, steel, auto-production) have learned how to benefit from Third Wave technological breakthroughs -- just as the First Wave's agricultural productivity benefited exponentially from the Second Wave's...
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