Industrialization as the Catalyst for the Digital World Essay
The modern digital world, while bearing strong influences from Victorian and Modernist thought, ultimately originates from neither, but is rather a product of advancing technology. Although the diagrammatic ideas of information organization that surfaced in the Victorian age have served, along with Modernist imagery, to lend a definite structure to the digital world, these ideas were not the catalysts for new developments in technology. It was rather the rapid industrialization in Europe and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in the world, that led to the sciences gaining value as potential tools for production, which sciences in turn were shaped by the Victorian and Modernist ideas …show more content…
It is an easy matter to disprove any direct relationship of producer and product between Victorian and Modernist thought and the modern digital world in its entirety. Those last three words are crucial to this argument, because although proving that the digital world in its entirety is not a product of Victorian and Modernist thought is a simple matter, it is equally simple to prove some relationship between the two. Indeed, because the Victorian era occurred long before the first digital processor, and because Modernist philosophy possesses a similar precedence to computer technology, it must be said that if there is a relationship between the aforementioned paradigms and the digital world, the former must possess the countenance of a cause, while the latter must possess that of a product, or effect (only if there is a relationship; similarities between two phenomena masquerading as a relationship between the two can cloud the issue).
Establishing a connection between Victorian and Modernist ideas and the modern digital world requires one to look no farther than Lev Manovich's The Engineering of Vision from Constructivism to Computers. In the first two chapters, Manovich makes a compelling argument for this connection. Especially relevant is his assertion that the appearance of the