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In the present paper, on the basis of the theory of production principles and production revolutions, we reveal the interrelation between K-waves and major technological breakthroughs in history and make forecasts about features of the sixth Kondratieff wave in the light of the Cybernetic Revolution that, from our point of view, started in the 1950s. We assume that the sixth K-wave in the 2030s and 2040s will merge with the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution (which we call a phase of self-regulating systems). This period will be characterized by the breakthrough in medical technologies which will be capable to combine many other technologies into a single complex of MBNRIC-technologies (med-bio-nano-robo-info-cognitive technologies). The article offers some forecasts concerning the development of these technologies.
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Kondratieff Waves: Juglar – Kuznets – Kondratieff 2014 354–377
354
12
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave
and the Cybernetic Revolution*
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin
Abstract
In the present paper, on the basis of the theory of production principles and
production revolutions, we reveal the interrelation between K-waves and major
technological breakthroughs in history and make forecasts about features of
the sixth Kondratieff wave in the light of the Cybernetic Revolution that, from
our point of view, started in the 1950s. We assume that the sixth K-wave in the
2030s and 2040s will merge with the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution
(which we call a phase of self-regulating systems). This period will be charac-
terized by the breakthrough in medical technologies which will be capable to
combine many other technologies into a single complex of MBNRIC-
technologies (med-bio-nano-robo-info-cognitive technologies). The article of-
fers some forecasts concerning the development of these technologies.
Keywords: production revolutions, production principle, Industrial Revolu-
tion, Cybernetic Revolution, self-regulating systems, Kondratieff waves, fourth
K-wave, fifth K-wave, sixth K-wave, World System, center, periphery, medicine,
biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, robotics, cognitive technologies.
I. Production Principles, Production Revolutions
and K-Waves
According to our theory (Grinin 2007a, 2007b, 2012b, 2013; Grinin and Grinin
2013a, 2013b), the whole historical process can be most adequately divided into
four large periods, on the basis of the change of major developmental stages of
the world productive forces, which we call production principles. The production
principle is a concept which designates very large qualitative stages of devel-
opment of the world productive forces in the historical process. It is a system of
the unknown before forms of production and technologies surpassing the previ-
* This research has been implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Re-
search University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2015 and supported by the Russian
Foundation for the Humanities (Project No 14-02-00330).
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 355
ous ones fundamentally (in opportunities, scales, productivity, efficiency, prod-
uct nomenclature, etc.).
We single out four production principles:
1. Hunter-Gatherer.
2. Craft-Agrarian.
3. Trade- Industrial.
4. Scientific-Cybernetic.
Among all various technological and production changes that took place in
history the following three production revolutions had the most comprehensive
and far-reaching consequences for society:
1. Agrarian or Agricultural Revolution. Its result is the transition to sys-
tematic production of food and, on this base, to the complex social division of
labor. This revolution is also connected with the use of new power sources (an-
imal power) and materials.
2. Industrial, or Production Revolution as a result of which the main pro-
duction concentrated in the industry and began to be carried out by means of
machines and mechanisms, and at that not only the replacement of manual la-
bor by machines occurred, but also biological energy was replaced by water
and steam energy.
3. Cybernetic Revolution which have led to the emergence of powerful in-
formation technologies, and in future will stimulate transition to wide use of
self-regulating systems.
Structural model of production revolutions. Within the proposed theory
we suggest a fundamentally new idea that each production revolution has
an internal cycle of the same type and, in our opinion, includes three phases:
two innovative (initial and final) and one modernization phase (Grinin and Grin-
in 2013a, 2013b; see Fig. 1). At the initial innovative phase new advanced tech-
nologies emerge which spread in other societies and territories after a while. As
a result of the final innovative phase of a production revolution the new produc-
tion principle reaches its peak.
Between these phases there is the modernization phase – a long and very
important period of distribution, enrichment, diversification of the production
principle's new technologies (which appeared in the initial innovative phase)
when conditions for a final innovative breakthrough are created.1
1 For example, in the modernization phase of the Agrarian Revolution local varieties of plants and
breeds of animals borrowed from other places were created.
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
356
Fig. 1. Phases of production revolutions
Thus, the cycle of each production revolution looks as follows: the initial inno-
vative phase (emergence of a new revolutionizing production sector) – the
modernization phase (diffusion, synthesis and improvement of new technolo-
gies) – the final innovative phase (when new technologies acquire their mature
characteristics).
The scheme of innovative phases of production revolutions in our theory
looks as follows (modernization phases are omitted).
Agrarian Revolution: the initial phase – the transition to primitive manual
(hoe) agriculture and animal husbandry (started about 12,000–9,000 BP); the
final – transition to irrigation agriculture (or plow agriculture without irriga-
tion) (this began approximately 5,5 thousand years ago).
Industrial Revolution: the initial phase starts in the 15th century with the
development of navigation, water-powered equipment and mechanization, with
qualitative growth of labor division in the manufacturing, and also other pro-
cesses; the final phase – the industrial revolution of the 18th – the first third of
the 19th century, connected with the introduction of various machines and steam
energy.
Cybernetic Revolution: the initial (scientific and information) phase dated
back to the 1950–1990s. The breakthrough occurred in automation, energy pro-
duction, synthetic materials, space technologies, exploration of space and sea,
agriculture. But especially – in creation of electronic control facilities, communi-
cation and information. The final innovative phase (of self-regulating systems)
will begin in the 2030s or 2040s and will last till the 2060s or 2070s.
Each of production revolutions means the transition to a fundamentally new
production system; the beginning of each production revolution marks the bor-
ders between corresponding production principles.
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 357
Fig. 2. Production revolutions in history
Structure of the Production Principle
Development of the production principle is a period of genesis, growth and
maturity of new forms, systems and paradigms of organization of economic
management, which surpass many times the former ones in major parameters.
The principle of production is a six-phase cycle. Its first three stages corre-
spond to three phases of the production revolution. The subsequent three (post-
revolutionary) stages are a period of the maximization of the potentials of the
new forms of production in structural, systemic, and spatial sense:
1. The phase of the production revolution's beginning. A new, not yet de-
veloped principle of production emerges.
2. The phase of primary modernization – diffusion and strengthening of the
production principle.
3. The phase of completion of the production revolution. The production
principle acquires advanced characteristics.
The first three phases of the production principle still present an incom-
plete production principle.
4. The phase of maturity and expansion of the production principle. Wide
geographical and sectoral diffusion of new technologies, bringing the produc-
tion principle to mature forms, transformations in social and economic spheres.
5. The phase of absolute domination of the production principle. The final
victory of the production principle in the world, intensification of technologies,
bringing opportunities to the limit beyond which crisis features appear.
6. The stage of non-system phenomena, or preparatory (for the transition to
a new production principle) phase. The intensification leads to emergence of
non-system elements which prepare the birth of a new production principle.
(When, under favorable conditions, these elements form a system, in some so-
cieties the transition to a new production principle will begin and the cycle will
repeat at a new level.)
The last three phases of the production principle characterize its mature
features.
Production Revolutions
Agrarian
(12,000–10,000 –
5,500–3,000 BP)
Industrial
t
he last third of the 15th cent. –
t
he first third of the 19th cent.)
Cybernetic
(1950–2060 /
2070s)
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
358
Table 1. Chronology of the production principle's phases
No
Produc-
tion
Principle
1st phase 2nd phase 3rd
phase
4th
phase 5th phase 6th phase
Total
Produc-
tion
Principle
1. Hunte
r
-
Gatherer
40000
30000
(38000–
28000
BC)
10
30000
22000
(28000–
20000
BC)
8
22000
17000
(20000–
15000
BC)
5
17000
14000
(15000–
12000
BC)
3
14000
11500
(12000–
9500
BC)
2,5
11500
10000
(9500–
8000
BC)
1,5
40000
10000
(38000–
8000
BC)
30
2. Craft-
Agrarian
10000
7300
(8000–
5300
BC)
2,7
7300
5000
(5300–
3000
BC)
2,3
5000
3500
(3000–
1500
BC)
1,5
3500
2200
(1500–
200
BC)
1,3
2200
1200
(200 BC –
800 AD)
1,0
800
1430 AD
0,6
10000
570
(8000
BC –
1430 AD)
9,4
3. Trade-
Industrial
1430
1600
0,17
1600
1730
0,13
1730
1830
0,1
1830
1890
0,06
1890
1929
0,04
1929
1955
0,025
1430
1955
0,525
4. Scientific-
Cybernet-
ic
1955
1995/
2000
0,04–
0,045
1995
2030/40
0,035–
0,04
2030/40
2055/70
0,025–
0,03
2055/70
2070/90
0,015–
0,02
2070/90
2080/105
0,01–
0,015
2080/2105
2090/2115
0,01
1955
2090/
2115
0,135–
0,160
Note: Figures before the brackets – absolute scale (BP), figures in the brackets – BCE. Chro-
nology in the table is simplified (a more detailed chronology see in Grinin 2006b,
2009; Grinin and Korotayev 2013). The duration of phases (in thousand years) is
marked by the bold-face type. Duration of phases of the scientific-cybernetic produc-
tion principle is hypothetical. The duration of the scientific-cybernetic production
principle is also given in Fig. 3.
As is clear, the scientific-cybernetic production principle is at the beginning of
its development. Only its first phase finished, and in the mid-1990s the second
started. The second phase is proceeding now and will last till the early 2030s.
The third phase is likely to begin approximately in the 2030s or the 2040s. At
this particular time the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution should start.
The end of the scientific-cybernetic production principle will fall on the early
22nd century (for more details see Grinin 2006b).
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 359
Fig. 3. Development of the scientific-cybernetic production principle
Note: The dashed line depicts one of the scenarios of expected development of the scien-
tific-cybernetic production principle and corresponds to the dates before the slash
in the fifth column of Table 1.
The industrial production principle as a cycle, consisting of K-Waves. We
have established a close correlation between production principle cycles and
Kondratieff cycles (for more details see Grinin 2012a, 2013). Taking into ac-
count that K-waves arose only at a certain level of economic development of
societies, we can consider K-waves as a specific mechanism connected with the
emergence and development of the industrial-trade production principle and
the way of expanded reproduction of industrial economy. Given that each new
K-wave does not just repeat the wave motion, but is based on a new technolog-
ical mode, K-waves in a certain aspect can be treated as phases of the devel-
opment of the industrial production principle and the first phases of develop-
ment of the scientific-cybernetic production principle.
In the mentioned articles (Grinin 2012, 2013) it has been shown that the
first three K-waves are connected with the industrial production principle.
The special attention is paid to the correlation between the duration of the in-
dustrial production principle phases and the duration of K-wave phases. Cer-
tainly, there can be no direct duration equivalence of both K-waves and their
phases, on the one hand, and the industrial production principle phases, on the
other, due to the different duration of the industrial production principle phases
(that is within the principle of production's cycle its phases differ in duration,
6th phase
5th phase
4th phase
3rd phase
2nd phase
1st phase
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
360
but their duration proportions remain the same in each production principle
[Grinin 2006b, 2009]). However, we have succeeded in establishing a more
complex ratio according to which at the average one K-wave corresponds to
one phase of the industrial production principle. In general, we found out that
three and a half waves coincide with three and a half phases of the industrial
principle of production! It is clearly seen in Table 2. Such a correlation is not
coincidental, as innovative development of the industrial production principle is
realized through long Kondratieff cycles which are largely defined by large-
scale innovations.
Table 2. Periods of the industrial production principle and Kondratieff
waves
Phases of
Industrial
Production
Principle
The Third
Phase,
1730–1830
100 years
The Fourth
Phase,
1830–1890
60 years
The Fifth
Phase,
1890–1929
40 years
The Sixth
Phase,
1929–1955
25 years
Total:
225
years,
from
1760 –
195 years
The Number
of the K-wave
Zero
(В-Phase) /
The First
Wave
(А-Phase),
1760–1817 –
about 60 years
The End of the
First Wave /
The Second
Wave,
1817–1895
more than 75
years
The Third
Wave,
The Upward
Phase,
1895–1928
more than 35
years
Third wave,
The Down-
ward Phase,
1929–1947
about 20
years
About
190
years
The Phase of
K-wave
B-Phase of the
Zero Wave,2
1760–1787
The Second
half of the
Downward
Phase, 1817–
1849
The Upward
Phase,
1895–1928
The Down-
ward Phase,
1929–1947
The Phase of
K-wave
The Upward
Phase, 1787–
1817
The Upward
Phase, 1849–
1873
The Phase of
K-wave
The Down-
ward Phase,
1873–1895
Note: For simplicity, we take concrete years for the beginning and the end of the peri-
ods, though such a transition obviously lasts for a certain period of time.
2 We took as the beginning a zero K-wave which downward phase coincided with the beginning of
the Industrial Revolution, i.e. the 1760s (as we know, it is downward phases that are especially
rich in innovations).
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 361
II. The Cybernetic Revolution, Scientific-Cybernetic
Production Principle, the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth
K-Waves
The production revolution which began in the 1950s and is still proceeding,
causes powerful acceleration of scientific and technological progress. Taking
into account expected changes in the next 50 years, this revolution deserves to
be called ‘Cybernetic’ (see our explanation below). The initial phase of this
revolution (the 1950s – the 1990s) can be referred to as a scientific-
informational as it was characterized by the transition to scientific methods of
planning, forecasting, marketing, logistics, production managements, distribu-
tion and circulation of resources, and communication. The most radical changes
took place in the sphere of informatics and information technologies. The final
phase will begin approximately in the 2030s or the 2040s and will last until the
2070s. We called this phase a ‘phase of self-regulating systems’ (see below).
Now we are in the intermediate (modernization) phase which will last until the
2030s. It is characterized by powerful improvement and diffusion of innova-
tions made at the initial phase in particular by a wide proliferation of easy-to-
handle computers, means of communication, and formation of macrosector of
services among which information and financial services took the major place.
At the same time the innovations necessary to start the final phase of the Cy-
bernetic Revolution are being prepared.
The Cybernetic Revolution is a great technological breakthrough from the
industrial production principle towards production and services based on the
operation of self-regulating systems. In general, it will become the revolution of
self-regulating systems (see Grinin 2006a, 2007b, 2012b, 2013; Grinin and
Grinin 2013a, 2013b).
Table 3 demonstrates the connection between three phases of the scientific-
cybernetic production principle (which coincide with three phases of the Cy-
bernetic Revolution) and three Kondratieff waves (the fourth, fifth and sixth).
Correlation is here even stronger than between the first three K-waves and the
industrial production principle phases, due to the shorter duration of the scien-
tific-cybernetic production principle phases in comparison with those of the
industrial production principle.3
3 The reason for the shorter duration is the general acceleration of historical development.
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
362
Table 3. The scientific-cybernetic production principle (initial phases)
and Kondratieff waves
Phases of the Sci-
entific Cybernetic
Production Princi-
ple
The first
p
hase
(initial phase of
the Cybernetic
Revolution)
1955–1995
40
y
ears
The second
phase (middle
phase of the
Cybernetic Rev-
olution)
1995 – the
2030s/40s.
35
50
y
ears
The third phase
(final phase of
‘self-regulating
systems’ of the
Cybernetic
Revolution)
the 2030s/40s–
2055/70s
25
40
y
ears
Total:
100–
120
years
K
-Wave and Their
Phases
The Fourth
Wave,
1947 –
1982/1991
35
45
y
ears
The Fifth
Wave,
1982/1991 –
the 2020s.
The beginning
of the upward
phase of the
sixth wave
(2020–2050s)
30
40
y
ears
The sixth wave,
2020 – 2060/70s.
The end of the
upward phase
and downward
phase
(the latter 2050
– 2060/70s)
40
50
y
ears
About
110–
120
years
K
-Wave and Their
Phases
Upwar
d
p
hase,
1947 –
1969/1974s
Downward
phase of the
fifth wave,
2007–
2020s
K
-Wave and Their
Phases
Downwar
d
phase,
1969/1974 –
1982/1991
Upward phase
of the sixth
wave, 2020 –
2050s.
K
-Wave and Their
Phases
The fifth wave,
1982/1991 –
2020s,
upward phase,
1982/1991 –
2007
Taking the theory of production principles into account, we have also revised
the sequence of change of the major (leading) production sectors during the
change of K-waves (Grinin 2012a).4
4 During the table compiling we took into account ideas and works cohering with the theories which
explain the nature and pulsation of K-waves by changing of technological ways and/or techno-
economic paradigms: Mensch 1979; Kleinknecht 1981, 1987; Dickson 1983; Dosi 1984; Freeman
1987; Tylecote 1992; Glazyev 1993; Mayevsky 1997; Modelski and Thompson 1996; Modelski
2001, 2006; Yakovets 2001; Freeman and Louçã 2001; Ayres 2006; Kleinknecht and van der
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 363
Table 4. K-waves, technological modes and leading macrosectors
Kon-
dratieff
Wave
Date A New Mode Leading Macrosec-
tor
Production
Principle
and Num-
ber of Its
Phase
The
First
1780
1840s
The textile
industry
Factory (consu
m
e
r
)
industry
Industrial, 3
The
Second
1840
1890s
Railway lines,
coal, steel
Mining industry and
primary heavy indus-
try and transport
Industrial, 4
The
Third
1890
1940s
Electricity,
chemical in-
dustry and
heavy engi-
neering
Secondary heavy
industry and mechanic
engineering
Industrial,
5/6
The
Fourth
1940-е
the
early 1980s
Auto
m
o
b
ile
manufacturing,
manmade ma-
terials, elec-
tronics
General se
r
vices Industrial, 6,
Scientific-
Cybernetic, 1
The
Fifth
1980s
~2020
Micro-
electronics,
personal com-
p
uters
Highly-qualified ser-
vices
Scientific-
Cybernetic,
1/2
The
Sixth
2020/30s
2050/60s
МBNRIC-
technologies
(med-bio-nano-
robo-info-
cognitive)
Medical human ser-
vices
Scientific-
Cybernetic,
2/3
Peculiarities of the fourth K-wave in connection with the beginning of the
Cybernetic Revolution. The fourth K-wave (the second half of the 1940s –
1980s) fell on the initial phase of the Cybernetic Revolution. The beginning of
a new production revolution is a special period which is connected with the fast
transition to a more advanced technological component of economy. All accu-
mulated innovations and a large number of new innovations generate a new
system that has a real synergetic effect. It would appear reasonable that an up-
ward phase of the K-wave coinciding with the beginning of a production revo-
lution can appear more powerful than A-phases of other K-waves.5 That was
Panne 2006; Dator 2006; Hirooka 2006; Papenhausen 2008; see also Lazurenko 1992; Glazyev
2009; Polterovich 2009; Perez 2002.
5 Therefore, it appears reasonable that A-phase of the sixth K-wave can also make a great progress,
as it will coincide with the beginning of the Cybernetic Revolution final phase. Thus, the sixth
wave is to have a stronger manifestation than the fifth one. We will return to this point below.
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
364
the feature of the upswing A-phase of the fourth K-wave (1947–1974) which
coincided with the scientific-information phase of the Cybernetic Revolution.
As a result a denser than usual cluster of innovations (in comparison with the
second, third and fifth waves) was formed during that period. All this also ex-
plains why in the 1950s and 1960s the economic growth rates of the World
System were higher, than in A-phases of the third and fifth K-waves.
The downswing phase of the fourth K-wave (the 1970s – 1980s) in its turn also
fell on the last period of the initial phase of the Cybernetic Revolution. This
explains in many respects why this downswing phase was shorter than those of
the other K-waves.
The fifth K-wave and the delay of the new wave of innovations. It was
expected that the 1990s and the 2000s would bring a radically new wave of
innovations, comparable in their revolutionary character with the computer
technologies, capable to create a new technological mode. Those directions
which had already appeared and those ones, which are now supposed to be-
come a basis for the sixth K-wave were considered to be a breakthrough. How-
ever, it was the development and diversification of already existing digital elec-
tronic technologies and rapid development of financial technologies that be-
came a basis for the fifth K-wave. Those innovations which were really created
during the fifth K-wave as, for example, energy technologies, still have a small
share in the general energy, and, above all, they do not grow properly. Some
researchers believe that from 1970s up to the present is the time of the deceler-
ating scientific and technological progress (see discussion about Brener 2006;
see also Maddison 2007). Polterovich (2009) also suggests a notion of
a technological pause. But, in general, the mentioned technological delay is, in
our opinion, insufficiently explained. We believe that taking features of the
intermediate modernization phase of a production revolution (that is the second
phase of the production principle) into account can help explain this. Function-
ally it is less innovative; rather during this phase earlier innovations are widely
spread and improved. As regards the 1990s – 2020s (the intermediate phase of
the Cybernetic Revolution) the question is that the launch of a new innovative
breakthrough demands that the developing countries reach the level of the de-
veloped ones, and the political component of the world catches up with the
economic one; all this needs changes of the structure of societies and global
relations (see about some aspects Grinin and Korotayev 2010b). Thus, the de-
layed introduction of innovations of the new generation is explained, first, by
the fact that the center cannot endlessly surpass the periphery in development,
that is the gap between developed and developing countries could not increase
all the time. Secondly, economy cannot constantly surpass the political and
other components, as this causes very strong disproportions and deformations.
And the appearance of new general-purpose technologies, certainly, would ac-
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 365
celerate economic development and increase disparities. Thirdly, introduction
and distribution of the new basic technologies do not occur naturally, but only
within the appropriate social political environment (see Grinin 2012a, 2013; see
also Perez 2002). In order for basic innovations to be suitable for business,
structural changes in political and social spheres are necessary, eventually pro-
moting their synergy and wide implementation in the world of business.
Thus, the delay is caused by difficulties of changing political and social
institutions on the regional and even global scale, and also (and, perhaps, first
of all) within the international economic institutions. The latter can change
only thanks to the strong political will of the main players, which is difficult
to execute in the framework of the modern political institutions. These insti-
tutions rather can change under the conditions of depressive development
(and probable aggravation of the foreign relations) compelling to reorganiza-
tion and breakage of the conventional institutions that could hardly be
changed due to the lack of courage and opportunities under ordinary condi-
tions.
The above said explains as well the reasons of different rates of devel-
opment of the center and periphery of the World System during the fifth K-
wave (for more details see Grinin 2013; see also Grinin and Korotayev
2010a). The periphery was expected to catch up with the center due to the
faster rates of its development and slowdown of the center development.
However, one should not expect continuous crisis-free development of the
periphery – a crisis will come later and probably in other forms. Without
slow-down of the development of the periphery and serious changes full har-
monization of the economic and political component will not happen. Conse-
quently, it might be supposed that in the next decade (approximately by
2020–2025) the growth rates of the peripheral economies can also slow down,
and internal problems will aggravate that, as said above, can stimulate struc-
tural changes in the peripheral countries and strengthen international tension.
Thus, we suppose that in the next 10–15 years the world will face serious and
painful changes.
As is known, among researchers there is no agreement about periodization
of the Kondratieff waves (about this see Korotayev and Grinin 2012). We be-
lieve that at present we witness the downward phase of the fifth K-wave which
will last till the early or the mid-2020s. However, for example, Leo Nefiodow
in his contribution to this yearbook and the other works (Nefiodow 1996;
Nefiodow and Nefiodow 2014) argues that the sixth K-wave began in the late
1990s. Thus, according to Nefiodow's logic, now we observe an upward phase
(however, the crisis of 2008–2014 and prospects for the next years contradict
this), and in the 2020s the downward phase should come.
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
366
III. Characteristics of the Cybernetic Revolution
What are self-regulating systems and why are they so important? Self-
regulating systems are systems that can regulate themselves, responding in
a pre-programmed and intelligent way to the feedback from the environment.
These are the systems that operate with a small or completely without human
intervention. Today there are many self-regulating systems around us, for ex-
ample, the artificial Earth satellites, pilotless planes, navigators laying the route
for a driver. Another good example is life-supporting systems (such as medical
ventilation apparatus or artificial hearts). They can regulate a number of param-
eters, choose the most suitable mode of operation and detect critical situations.
There are also special programs that determine the value of stocks and other
securities, react to the change of their prices, buy and sell them, carry out thou-
sands of operations in a day and fix a profit. A great number of self-regulating
systems has been created. But they are mostly technical and informational sys-
tems (as robots or computer programs). During the final phase of the Cybernetic
Revolution there will be a lot of self-regulating systems connected with biology
and bionics, physiology and medicine, agriculture and environment. The number
of such systems as well as their complexity and their autonomy will dramatical-
ly increase. Besides, they will essentially reduce energy and resource consump-
tion. The very human life will become organized to a greater extent by such
self-regulating systems (for example, by monitoring of health, regimen, regula-
tion of or recommendation concerning the exertions, control over the patients'
condition, prevention of illegal actions, etc.).
Thus, we designate the modern revolution ‘Cybernetic’, because its main
sense is the wide creation and distribution of self-regulating autonomous sys-
tems. Cybernetics, as is well-known, is a science of regulatory systems. Its
main principles are quite suitable for the description of self-regulating systems
(see, e.g., Wiener 1948; Ashby 1956; Foerster and Zopf 1962; Umpleby and
Dent 1999; Tesler 2004).
As a result, the opportunity to control various natural, social and produc-
tion processes without direct human intervention (that is impossible or extreme-
ly limited now) will increase. At the fourth phase (of maturity and expansion)
of the scientific cybernetic production principle (the 2070s and 2080s) the
achievements of the Cybernetic Revolution will become quite systemic and
wide-scale in its final phase (for more details see Grinin 2006a).
Below we single out the most important characteristics of the Cybernetic
Revolution. One can observe them today, but they will realize in mature and
mass forms only in the future. These features are closely interconnected and
corroborating each other (for more details see Grinin and Grinin 2013a,
2013b).
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 367
Group of self-regulating properties:
1. Transition to self-regulating systems of various types and nature and
qualitatively growing controllability of systems and processes.
2. Transition to the control over deeper and more fundamental processes
and levels (up to subatomic particles), using tiny particles as building blocks (as
is clearly seen in nano- and biotechnologies).
3. Control over humans activities to eliminate the negative influence of the
so-called human factor, and control the lack of human attention in order to pre-
vent dangerous situations (e.g., in transport) as well as to prevent human beings
from using means of high-risk in unlawful or disease state (e.g., not allowing
driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs).
The group of attributes of task-aware adaptation of materials and sys-
tems:
1. Radical increase in systems' abilities to choose optimal regimes for dif-
ferent objectives and tasks.
2. Individualization as trend of technology. The opportunities of self-
regulation will allow choosing a particular decision for the variety of individual
tasks, orders and requests (e.g., with 3D and 4D printers and choosing of pro-
grams adapted to specific individual needs). We also expect a rapid increase in
the market of cosmetic corrections and plastic surgery of any kinds and other
private orders to change individual organisms.6
3. Resource and energy saving in many spheres.
4. Increasing opportunities in the synthesis of materials with previously
lacking properties in biological and bionic (techno-biological) systems (as in
Chemistry).
5. Miniaturization and micro-miniaturization as a trend of the constantly
decreasing size of particles, mechanisms, electronic devices, implants, etc.
Various directions of development should generate a system cluster of in-
novations.7
Medicine as a sphere of the initial technological breakthrough and the
emergence of MBNRIC-technology complex. It is worth remembering that
the Industrial Revolution began in a rather narrow area of cotton textile manu-
factory and was connected with the solution of quite concrete problems – at
first, liquidation of the gap between spinning and weaving, and then, after in-
creasing weavers' productivity, searching of the ways to mechanize spinning.
6 Even now this market is growing rapidly, and in the future it will run up to hundreds billion dol-
lars.
7 So, for example, resources and energy saving can be carried out via the choice of the optimal
modes by autonomous systems that fulfil concrete goals and tasks and vice versa, the choice of
an optimal mode will depend on the level of energy and materials consumption, and the budget
of a consumer.
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
368
However, the solution of these narrow tasks caused explosion of innovations
conditioned by the existence of a large number of the major elements of ma-
chine production (including abundant mechanisms, primitive steam-engines,
quite a high volume of coal production, etc.) which gave an impulse to the de-
velopment of the Industrial Revolution. In a similar way, we assume that the
Cybernetic Revolution will start first in a certain area. Given the general vector
of scientific achievements and technological development and taking into ac-
count that a future breakthrough area should be highly commercially attractive
and have a wide market, we predict that the final phase (of self-regulating sys-
tems) of this revolution will begin somewhere at the intersection of medicine
and many other technologies. Certainly, it is almost impossible to predict the
concrete course of innovations. However, the general vector of breakthrough
can be defined as a rapid growth of opportunities for correction or even modifi-
cation of the human biological nature. In other words, it will be possible to
extend our opportunities to alter a human body, perhaps, to some extent, its
genome; to widen sharply our opportunities of minimally invasive influence
and operations instead of the modern surgical ones; to use extensively means of
cultivating separate biological materials, bodies or their parts and elements for
regeneration and rehabilitation of an organism, and also artificial analogues of
biological material (bodies, receptors), etc.
This will make it possible to radically expand the opportunities to prolong
the life and improve its biological quality. It will be the technologies intended
for common use in the form of a mass market service. Certainly, it will take
a rather long period (about two or three decades) from the first steps in that
direction (in the 2030–2040s) to their common use.
The drivers of the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will be medi-
cine, bio- and nano-technologies, robotics, IT, cognitive sciences, which will
together form a sophisticated system of self-regulating production. We can de-
note this complex as MBNRIC-technologies. As is known, there is the widely
used abbreviation of NBIC-technology (or convergence), that is nano-bio-
information and cognitive (see Lynch 2004; Dator 2006; Akayev 2012). How-
ever, we believe that this complex will be larger.
It should be noted that Leo Nefiodow has been writing about medicine as
the leading technology of the sixth Kondratieff wave for a long time (Nefiodow
1996; Nefiodow and Nefiodow 2014; also in this volume). In general, we sup-
port his approaches (including the ideas about a new type of medicine), but it is
important to point out that Nefiodow believes that it is biotechnologies that will
become an integrated core of a new mode. However, we suppose that the lead-
ing role of biotechnologies will be, first of all, in their possibility to solve
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 369
the major medical problems.8 That is why, it makes sense to speak about medi-
cine as the core of a new technological paradigm. Besides, Nefiodow practical-
ly does not mention nanotechnology that will be of great importance in terms of
the development of biotechnologies and medicine (they are supposed to play
a crucial role in the fight against cancer; at the same time nanotechnologies will
play a crucial role in other spheres too, in particular in energy and resources
saving). It is difficult to agree with his opinion that psychosocial health, which,
in his opinion, cover not only psychotherapeutic, psychological and psychiatric
services, but also numerous measures of people's health improvement that is
capable to reduce, in his terms, social entropy, will be the second leading mode.
The problems of this social entropy which he points out (corruption, growth of
small and large crime, drug addiction, loss of moral guide, divorces, growth
of violence, etc.) have always existed in society; many of them even had a
greater share than today. Social changes can be really extremely important for
creation of starting conditions for a long-term upswing and its keeping (for
more details see Grinin and Korotayev 2014 in this issue). However, it is pro-
duction and/or commercial technologies that represent the driving force of the
K-Waves upward phases.
Thus, we suppose the following:
1. Medicine will be the first sphere to start the final phase of the Cybernetic
Revolution, but, later on, self-regulating systems development will cover the
most diverse areas of production, services and life.
2. We treat medicine in a broad sense, because it will include (and already
actively includes) for its purposes a great number of other scientific branches
(e.g., the use of robots in surgery and care of patients, information technologies
in remote medical treatment, neural interfaces for treatment of mental illness
and brain research; gene therapy and engineering, nanotechnologies for crea-
tion of artificial immunity and biochips which monitor organisms; new materi-
als for growing artificial organs and many other things to become a powerful
sector of economy).
3. The medical sphere has unique opportunities to combine the abovemen-
tioned technologies into a single system.
4. There are also some demographic and economic reasons why the phase
of self-regulating systems will start in medicine:
– Increase in average life expectancy and population ageing will favor not
only the growth of medical opportunities to maintain health, but also allow
the extension of working age, as population ageing will be accompanied by the
lack of working-age population;
8 We agree with Nefiodow that it is also necessary to include in this complex food, pharmaceutics
and ecology (see Grinin and Grinin 2013a, 2013b).
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
370
People, in general, are always ready to spend money on health and beau-
ty. However, the growth of the world middle class and the cultural standard of
people implies much greater willingness and solvency in this terms;
Medical corporations usually do not impede technological progress, but,
on the contrary, are interested in it.
Thus, today medicine is a very important sector of the economy, and to-
morrow it will become even more powerful.
In the present article we confined ourselves to a short description of the
spheres which represent a new, in a broad sense, medical system or realm of
medicine, creating a complex of technologies and their application with other
perspective directions.
Surgery. Robots have become widely used in surgeries (see Fig. 4).
The da Vinci robot has become especially popular. In the future, an increasing
number of surgical operations will be performed with less involvement of pro-
fessionals. Many simple surgeries will need no human participation at all.
Robots can perform a wide range of surgeries because of:
easy access to the zone of surgery;
small scars;
superhuman accuracy;
no hand tremor;
possibility to control a robot at a distance via Internet.
Fig. 4. Robots in surgery
Source: Pinkerton 2014.
Biochips represent a new trend of combining medical and nanobiotechnolo-
gies. Biochips are able to register a wide range of physiological changes and
respond to them or perform specific actions. In the long term, biochips will
permit a continuous control of a person's health. There are many biochips in
medicine today. For example, cardio-chips which are connected to the heart
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 371
cells, register all necessary indices, and transmit them to devices. Some bio-
chips are so small in size that can be placed into a cell or tiny spheres of lipids,
liposomes. They can be used for different purposes, for example, for targeted
drug delivery.
Artificial organs are the key to resolving the urgent lack of enough donor
organs. In medicine scientists already use or work to design different artificial
organs: skin, retina, trachea, vessels, heart, ear, eye, limbs, liver, lungs, pancre-
as, bladder, ovaries. This will definitely increase life expectancy and can have
various consequences. The artificial womb, for example, can provide an oppor-
tunity to have children for people irrespective of age and, perhaps, even gender.
Artificial immune system is an autonomous intellectual system against
diseases and pathogenic organisms. For example, a nanorobot can travel
through the body and collect pathogenic organisms into a special module,
where they are decomposed. Organic compounds are further used by human
organism.
Gene therapy is an explosively developing sector. It is a powerful tool for
correcting hereditary diseases as well as developing new abilities that an organ-
ism lacked before. In our view, the crucial breakthroughs in gene therapy will
be made in the treatment of genetic disorders and sport medicine.
Neural interfaces are an interaction between brain and computer systems
that can be realized via electrode contact with head skin or via electrodes im-
planted into the brain. The implementation of neural interfaces is already wide-
spread. They have developed neural interfaces that allow prosthetic devices to
be moved via brain signals. Today, scanning techniques have been developed
that allow studying brain signals. This gives an opportunity to reproduce any
brain response.
So the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution:
will create various self-regulating systems;
will start in medicine, which in the conjuncture with other fields will
create the revolutionizing system of MBNRIC (med-bio-nano-robo-info-
cognitive) technologies;
will improve the quality of life particularly of old people and disabled
persons;
will increase average life expectancy (up to 100 years);
will lead to the emergence of opportunities to correct and modify human
biology itself.
However, the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will have ambiguous
consequences. On the one hand, vigorous growth of production volume will be
expected. On the other hand, due to the diffusion of various self-regulating sys-
tems the number of specialists needed in different spheres will decrease. For in-
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
372
stance, due to the development of self-regulation and remote medical care the
number of doctors will significantly diminish.
The possibilities of medicine will hugely increase. At the same time the
emergence of opportunities to radically change the human organism may bring
about unprecedented ethical issues and seriously damage such vital aspects as
family, gender, and morals. That is why it is very important to search for some
optimal social, legal and other means beforehand. Then those changes will not
be completely unexpected and their negative consequences could be mini-
mized.
IV. The Phase of Self-Regulating Systems and the Sixth
K-Wave
А-Phase of the sixth K-wave: acceleration to enter
the final phase of the cybernetic revolution
The sixth K-wave will probably begin approximately in the 2020s. Meanwhile
the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution has to begin later, at least, in the
2030–2040s. Thus, we suppose, that a new technological mode will not develop
in a necessary form even by the 2020s (thus, the innovative pause will take
longer than expected). However, it should be kept in mind that the beginning of
the K-wave upswing phase is never directly caused by new technologies. This
beginning is synchronized with the start of the medium-term business cycle's
upswing. And the upswing takes place as a result of the levelling of proportions
in economy, the accumulation of resources and other impulses that improve
demand and conjuncture. One should remember, that the beginning of the sec-
ond K-wave was connected with the discovery of gold deposits in California
and Australia, the third wave with the increase in prices for wheat, the fourth
one with the post-war reconstruction, the fifth one with the economic reforms
in the UK and the USA. And then, given an upswing, a new technological
mode (which could not completely – if at all – realize its potential) facilitates
overcoming of cyclic crises and allows further growth.
Consequently, some conjunctural events will also stimulate an upward im-
pulse of the sixth K-wave. And, for example, the rapid growth of the underde-
veloped world regions (such as Tropical Africa, the Islamic East, and some
Latin American countries) or new financial and organizational technologies can
become a primary impulse. Naturally, there will also appear some technical and
technological innovations which, however, will not form a new mode yet. Be-
sides, we suppose that financial technologies have not finished yet its expan-
sion in the world. If we can modify and secure them somehow, they will be
able to spread into various regions which underuse them now. One should not
forget that large-scale application of such technologies demands essential
Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin 373
changes in the legal and other systems, which is absolutely necessary for devel-
opmental levelling in the world. Taking into account a delay of the new genera-
tion of technologies, the period of the 2020s may resemble the 1980s. In other
words, it will be neither a growth recession, nor a rise, but rather an accelerated
development (with stronger development in some regions and continuous de-
pression in others).
Then, given the above mentioned favorable conditions, during this wave
the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will begin. In such a situation it is
possible to assume that the sixth K-wave's A-phase (the 2020–2050s) will have
much stronger manifestation and last longer than that of the fifth one due to
more dense combination of technological generations. And since the Cybernet-
ic Revolution will evolve, the sixth K-wave's downward B-phase (2050 –
the 2060/70s), is expected to be not so depressive, as those during the third or
fifth waves. In general, during this K-wave (2020 – the 2060/70s) the Scientific
and Information Revolution will come to an end, and the scientific and cyber-
netic production principle will acquire its mature shape.
Another scenario. The final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution can begin
later – not in the 2030s, but in the 2040s. In this case the A-phase of the sixth
wave will terminate before the beginning of the regulating systems revolution;
therefore, it will not be based on fundamentally new technologies and will not
become so powerful as is supposed in the previous scenario. The final phase of
the Cybernetic Revolution in this case will coincide with the B-phase of the
sixth wave (as it was the case with the zero wave during the Industrial Revolu-
tion, 1760–1787) and at the A-phase of the seventh wave. In this case the
emergence of the seventh wave is highly possible. The B-phase of the sixth
wave should be rather short due to the emergence of a new generation of tech-
nologies, and the A-phase of the seventh wave – rather long and powerful.
The end of the Cybernetic Revolution and disappearance of
K-waves
The sixth K-wave (about 2020 – the 2060/70s), like the first K-wave, will pro-
ceed generally during completion of the production revolution. However, there
is an important difference. During the first K-wave the duration of the one
phase of the industrial production principle significantly exceeded the duration
of the whole K-wave. But now one phase of the K-wave will exceed the dura-
tion of one phase of production principle. This alone should essentially modify
the course of the sixth K-wave; the seventh wave will be feebly expressed or
will not occur at all (on the possibility of the other variant see above). Such
a forecast is based also on the fact that the end of the Cybernetic Revolution
and distribution of its results will promote integration of the World System and
considerably increasing influence of new universal regulation mechanisms. It is
The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution
374
quite reasonable, considering the fact that the coming final phase of the revolu-
tion will be the revolution of the regulating systems. Thus, the management of
the economy should reach a new level. So, K-waves appear at a certain stage
of social evolution and are likely to disappear at its certain stage.
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... A view exists that the Sixth K-wave will be based not only on new medical technologies and biotechnologies but also on attempts to improve the psychosocial health of people (Nefiodow & Nefiodow, 2014). Others claim (Grinin & Grinin, 2014) that the Sixth K-wave will start only in the 2020s and will mean a merger of the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution, i.e. the phase of self-regulating systems, with breakthrough medical technologies and many other technologies, which will result in emergence of a single complex of MBNRIC (medico-bio-nano-robo-info-cognitive) technologies. ...
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Research background: The innovation activity of Polish industrial processing enterprises is examined in a broader time context than typical business cycle frames, which makes it possible to look at the investigated problems from the perspective of Kondratieff waves. Purpose of the article: The aim of the research is to describe the combined effect of mutual interactions between the ownership and size of Polish industrial processing enterprises on the goals of innovative activity and their degree of importance for the further development of the innovativeness of those firms. These relations are examined in various phases of the business cycle. Additionally, taking secular changes into account made it possible to lend credence to the claim that the global financial crisis is a typical phenomenon for the breakthrough period between two Kondratieff waves. Methods: A characteristic feature of the applied method is the focus on the combined effect of the enterprise type and ownership structure on firms’ innovation over three periods: prosperity 2004–2006, crisis 2008–2010 and recovery 2012–2014. As regards statistical techniques, the Pearson’s χ^2 independence test and correspondence analysis were applied. The results of the research are presented in a graphic form in three- and two-dimensional correspondence maps, which indicate the co-occurrence of (1) ownership sectors and enterprise types taken together, and (2) effects (goals) of the innovative activity of enterprises, together with the degree of their influence (importance) for further innovative activity. Mutual interactions between ownership sectors and enterprise types were visually analysed, indicating significant features of the triangles representing them. Findings & Value added: A significant combined effect of the ownership sectors and enterprise types on firms’ innovative activity was found. There was a certain type of dynamic equilibrium between those variables, which changes depending on the business cycle phase. In the global financial crisis of 2008–2010, a surprising phenomenon was found, consisting of the growth of innovative activity in most enterprises as compared to the period of prosperity in 2004–2006. The enterprises achieved the goals assumed, and the degree of their importance proved the significant influence on further innovative activity of those firms. Additionally, it was demonstrated that in the period of recovery (2012–2014) mutual interactions between ownership and size eliminated the relationship between those variables and the goals of innovative activity, and eco-innovations proved to be directly subordinated to traditional types of innovations, mainly product and process innovations. Changes occurring in the last of the examined periods are related to the near-zero inertia of the entire industrial processing section, which allows to interpret the global financial crisis as a typical phenomenon for a breakthrough marking the end of one Kondratieff wave and the beginning of the next. Moreover, 2015 is identified as the year of breakthrough, ending the Fifth and beginning the Sixth Kondratieff Wave, which was related to the transition from the information and telecommunications revolution to the biomedical-hydrogen revolution. The calculations presented in this paper are consistent with those forecasts.
... 9 9 It should be noted that Leo Nefiodow has been writing about medicine as the leading technology of the Sixth Kondratieff Wave (according to his approach, this wave began in the end of the 1990s and will last until the 2050s) (Nefiodow 1996;Nefiodow andNefiodow 2014a, 2014b). We do not agree with him about the date of the Sixth Kondratieff Wave, which, according to our estimates, will start in 2020s and will last until the 2060s (Grinin L. E. and Grinin A. L. 2014). Never-Thus, given the general vector of scientific achievements and technological development and taking into account that a future breakthrough area is to be highly commercially attractive and have a wide market, we predict that the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will begin in medicine. ...
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In this chapter, we consider the process of technological progress presenting one of the options for measuring its speed throughout the entire historical process. We find that the general dynamics of accelerating technological growth over the past 40 thousand years can be described with amazing accuracy (R² = 0.99) using the following simplest hyperbolic equation: yt = C/t0 − t, where yt is the technological growth rate measured as a number of technological phase transitions per unit of time. Although since 40,000 BP the speed of technological progress tended to generally increase, however, according to the theory of production principles on which we rely, the acceleration of technological progress had noticeable fluctuations. These fluctuations can be explained by the fact that technological development proceeded within the framework of super-long cycles. We show that, within these cycles, the phases of accumulation of basic breakthrough innovations are replaced by phases of rapid growth of improvements in basic innovations and their wide distribution. These fluctuations between cycle phases affect the pattern of acceleration of technological progress. Currently, there are a number of calculations of the point of singularity of the Big History and global evolution, which generally localize the singularity around the first half of the twenty-first century. The point of singularity in our calculations, if we rely only on historical time points, falls on 2018, that is, in principle, it fully fits the results of other studies. There is a fairly reasonable idea of slowing down a number of important social processes (such as demographic development, urbanization), including the speed of technological progress. Indeed, there are already some grounds for talking about signs of a slowdown in progress from the 1960 to 1970s. However, according to the theory of production principles, as already mentioned, there are strong fluctuations in the acceleration of technological progress. We assume that at the moment technological progress is in the fourth—the scientific and cybernetic—production principle. According to this theory, we expect a powerful acceleration of technological progress in the area between the 2030s and the 2070s. In this case, if we take into account the expected time points, the point of singularity, according to our calculations, is estimated to be around 2106. That is, with this method of calculation, we should first expect a new way of acceleration of technological progress, and then, its slowdown in the region of the end of the twenty-first century—the beginning of the 22nd. We also identify the social mechanism for such acceleration and deceleration: in the coming decades, the process of global ageing can cause technological acceleration first and change its direction, and then closer to the end of the present and the beginning of the next century, on the contrary, elderly society can be a brake on scientific-technological progress.
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This book introduces a 'Big History' perspective to understand the acceleration of social, technological and economic trends towards a near-term singularity, marking a radical turning point in the evolution of our planet. It traces the emergence of accelerating innovation rates through global history and highlights major historical transformations throughout the evolution of life, humans, and civilization. The authors pursue an interdisciplinary approach, also drawing on concepts from physics and evolutionary biology, to offer potential models of the underlying mechanisms driving this acceleration, along with potential clues on how it might progress. The contributions gathered here are divided into five parts, the first of which studies historical mega-trends in relation to a variety of aspects including technology, population, energy, and information. The second part is dedicated to a variety of models that can help understand the potential mechanisms, and support extrapolation. In turn, the third part explores various potential future scenarios, along with the paths and decisions that are required. The fourth part presents philosophical perspectives on the potential deeper meaning and implications of the trend towards singularity, while the fifth and last part discusses the implications of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Given its scope, the book will appeal to scholars from various disciplines interested in historical trends, technological change and evolutionary processes.
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This chapter introduces the whole monograph, which is devoted to the analysis of economic cycles of different length and their manifestation in the core and periphery of World System in different periods as well as forecasts on this base of future transformations of technologies, political and social-economics relations. The first chapter analyzes the emergence of modern economic cycles. Though cyclical dynamics was noticed a long time ago the cyclical nature of modern economic development was, for a long time, not traced because it was indiscernibly weak and irregular.
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В предшествующей статье мы пытались показать социальную эволюцию в технологическом аспекте, начиная с верхнепалеолитической революции и до самого последнего времени. Технологический аспект социальной эволюции был представлен в рамках теории принципов производства и производственных революций. Настоящая статья продолжает это исследование. Она посвящена анализу последней производственной революции – кибернетической – и рассмотрению изменений, происходивших в ее ходе, начиная с 1950-х гг. Но особое внимание в статье уделено тем изменениям, которые с высокой долей вероятности произойдут в результате кибернетической революции в ближайшие 30–60 лет. А по некоторым аспектам прогнозы даются до конца XXI столетия. В своем анализе мы, с одной стороны, опираемся на максимальный учет новейших достижений и тенденции научно-технического прогресса, а с другой – основываемся на возможностях теории производственных революций. Читатель убедится, что благодаря этой теории удается удачно интерпретировать многие факты и тенденции современного технологического развития и надежнее обосновывать прогнозы развития в будущем. Прежде чем перейти к указанному анализу, имеет смысл очень кратко суммировать основные идеи теории производственных революций.
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This is the second issue of the new series titled Globalistics and Globalization Studies. Globalistics may be regarded as a sort of systemic and more or less integrated ‘core’ within Global Studies. At present Global Studies function in two main dimensions – in the research of global political, economic, cultural and social processes, on the one hand, and in the realm of teaching – manifesting themselves in the creation of various Global Studies programs and courses for university students who learn to see the world in its entirety and variety. The second dimension is immensely important as the contents of such programs and courses may determine how the world will be comprehended by those people who may decide its fate in a decade or two. This dualistic nature of Global Studies has determined the general direction of our anthology that comprises both the theoretical dimension of Global Studies and their application to the teaching process. The anthology consists of three parts presenting a wide range of views on the meaning of the contemporary epoch, the past and the future of some important global processes as well as the problems and successes in the teaching process of Global Studies. Part 1. Globalization in Historical Retrospective. Part 2. Globalistics, Global Studies, and Global Processes. Part 3. Teaching Global Studies. In the present anthology one can fi nd perceptions of globalization by a number of famous scholars from different countries of the world (Ervin Laszlo, Christopher Chase-Dunn, and others), but one can also get to know rather peculiar visions of globalization by Russian scientists and educators.
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The Innovation Pause Hypothesis is developed in the article. According to this hypothesis, the current crisis can be explained by the exhaustion of possibilities of existing general purpose technologies and by the delay of new ones in combination with overoptimistic expectations due to a long period of rapid economic expansion. If this hypothesis is correct, then it is quite plausible that a significant period of time will be required before fast growth is restored in Western economies. Russia gets an additional chance to decrease the gap between Russian and Western economic productivity provided that an efficient mechanism of technology borrowing is created. An appropriate strategy must include a set of measures aimed at: increasing the countrys adaptive capacity; designing an interactive planning system in order to develop large-scale modernization projects; increasing the capital accumulation rate by stimulating savings and improving the credit system.
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During the last postwar boom in the 1950s and 1960s, there was relatively little interest in the idea of long cycles of capitalist economic development. But in the last few years there has been a resurgence of discussion and debate among economists about this phenomenon, and an increasing amount of empirical research both on the historical evidence and on contemporary aspects of the worldwide slowdown in economic growth. This chapter discusses a neoSchumpeterian interpretation of long cycles, which is based on a research project on “Technical Change and Employment” (TEMPO) carried out at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, England, from 1979 to 1984. In two books (Freeman et al.,1982; Freeman and Soete, 1987), I and my colleagues have attempted to show the connection between long cycles and long-term trends in unemployment. This chapter deals with more general problems of long-wave theory.