The information society is completed — it’s actually been around about 90 years. Now we’re beginning the post-information society. In Alvin Toffler’s terms, any time one of these new ‘waves’ comes in, like when the agricultural economy started giving way to the industrial economy, you have an ‘epoch of uncertainty.’ Now we’re at a point where the uncertainty may never stabilize — there is such a cascading of the amount of change with the rate of change. It isn’t just about the acceleration of the pace of change. It’s also the amount of it. The only certainty we can count on in the future will be a continuing state of uncertainty.
Every epoch has its organizing premise. When we were industrial, it was reason; when we were information, it was complexity, chaos theory, choice modeling…Now we think the new organizing premise is paradox.
So paradox becomes the organizing premise of the post-information society, just as complexity was the organizing premise of the information society. The key to paradox is that you don’t do one or the other of those approaches; you do both.