The Control Revolution Online is a student project website dedicated to late author James R. Beniger’s book entitled The Control Revolution: Technological and. Beniger, J. R. (). The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society,. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Communication and the. Control Revolution. James R. Beniger. In , Henry Crowell invented breakfast. He did not, of course, pio neer the practice?which.

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Maureen rated it it was ok Nov 30, In short, particular attention to the material aspects of information processing, communication, and control promises to make possible a synthesis of a large proportion of this literature on contemporary social change. Auto plant designed for processing.

The Control Revolution — James R. Beniger | Harvard University Press

That might complicate the picture of a self-organized informational society some, and I guess Beniger prefered to stick with his vision. It would make sense if the US was the center of the Control Revolution, but it would be good to get more of an explanation as to why.

The origins of the rsvolution age traced rwvolution through technology and behavior changes. Matthew Roche rated it really liked it Aug 10, The digital Loeb Classical Library loebclassics.

The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society

All economic activity is by definition purposive, after all, and requires control to maintain its various processes to achieve its goals. Once energy consumption, processing and transportation speeds, and the information requirements for control are seen benigee be interrelated, the Industrial Revolution takes on new meaning.


Inevitably the Industrial Revolution, with its ballooning use of energy to drive material processes, required a corresponding growth in the exploitation of cpntrol Lost that one in a fire along with home and office.

Along the way he touches on many fascinating topics: Multiple register cumulating calculator. Thus, technology appears autonomously to beget technology and, as argued in Part 11, innovations in matter and energy processing create the need for further innovation in information processing and communication.

Scores of problems arose: Similarly, microprocessing and computing technology, contrary to currently fashionable opinion, do not represent a new force only recently unleashed on an unprepared society but merely the most recent installment in the continuing development of the Control Revolution.

Why do we find ourselves living in an Information Society? Erie Railroad, first trunk line connecting East and West, begins operations in “utmost confusion,” misplaces cars for months.

The Control Revolution

Technological and Revolutiom Origins of the Information Society. With the growing network of grain elevators and warehouses, and the mounting demand for mass storage and shipment, transporters have increasing difficulty keeping track of individual shipments of grain and cotton.

The book is very descriptive and lacks a critical reflexion on the political impact of control on the lives of the subjects. This explains why so many of the components of computer control have been anticipated, revolhtion by visionaries like Charles Babbage and by practical innovators like Daniel McCallum, since the first signs of a control crisis in the early nineteenth century.

Tomas rated it liked it Dec 06, Modern bureaucracies with multiple departments. Initially this control was in the form of bureaucracy, but after WWII it has shifted toward computer technology.


As we have seen, what began as a crisis of safety on the railroads in the early s hit distribution in the s, production in the late s, and marketing and the control of consumption in the early s. But all in all, Beniger provides a new perspective countering much of the pessimistic, doomsday views people espouse when it comes to technological change.

Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inevitably the Industrial Revolution, with its ballooning use of energy to drive material processes, required a corresponding growth in the exploitation of information: Is this change recent–or not?

Return to Book Page. Beniger exhaustively surveys the industrial landscape, from materials processing to production to transport to distribution, digging up every kind of feedback mechanism from thermostats to cereal box-top contests and placing it in the context of an ongoing narrative of broadening and deepening control capacities.

The Control Revolution

In fact Beniger would have it that the information had to accompany the industrial revolution for industrial tools made organizations more capable or powerful. He does remind us here of his original question, which is why and how this came to be. Given that a revolution bebiger control did begin in response to a crisis generated by the Industrial Revolution, why have bwniger technologies of information processing, preprocessing, programming, and communication played such a major part in the Control Revolution?