There can be little doubt that the world is changing more quickly and dramatically than at any other time in history. It may well be that scholars, decades from now, in evaluating the changes that have virtually engulfed the latter half of this century, will describe these changes as the "information revolution." This revolution has been characterized by two opposite yet strangely complementary trends. The first trend is the changes in technology that have served to link the world and, in effect, to make it smaller. One need only consider, as millions did on a daily basis, the interrelationship between the various national economies as the last stock market crisis rippled around the world from market to market, and the growing reality of those interrelationships upon the investor in even the smallest rural hamlet. Similarly, we have seen the emergence of a truly global view encompassing an enlarged perspective of the world and the complexity of its myriad interrelationships. It is these two forces, philosophical and technical, that are shaping the world, creating its challenges, and leading to new opportunities.
The evolution of computing power forecasts the coming revolution. In 1947 ENIAC, the first computer operated with vacuum tubes, generated a great deal of heat, filled two stories in a large building, weighed over 60,000 pounds, and cost almost $487,000. Yet today the multifaceted digital watch worn by children, costing only a few dollars, contains more sophisticated computing power. Historians of technology have estimated that the cost of computing power has fallen