The 4th Industrial Revolution: what does it mean for content-makers?

The Industrial Revolution is defined as the transition to “new manufacturing processes” that took place from the 18th to the 19th centuries. It’s Anne Shirley on her horse-drawn buggy VS. Morgan Harris on his engine-powered automobile (If you don’t get that reference, I am quietly judging you).

Klaus Schwab articulates the Fourth Industrial Revolution from the the drivers of this historical movement, the economic transactions of labour and work, and the national and global changes, to the various societies’ response, absorption and accomodation of this new leap in modernity.

There are a couple of points that resonated to me in this reading but I’ll begin with the “human cloud” concept. My personal experience involved my participation as a self-employed writer in the dissection of precise assignments and projects that I found in the “virtual cloud”. In doing so, I was able to write for a company of whom I have no contractual obligation – and neither do they. I agree with Schwab; there is an “unrivalled” mobility and freedom with this type of work.

It begs the question, however, if job satisfaction was attained in this personal employment and if so, to what end? In retrospect, I was still under the creative-constraints of this post and as part of a generation who is aspiring for a more “harmonious work-life integration” and personally, my own creative development and freedom, it comes into question whether this particular economic exchange is merely an upskill event to further one’s careers and ambitions or if it is a solid start in integrating themselves into the web of this type of industry.

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I have a fondness for the ancient, archaic, Victorian, medieval, minimalist, french gypsy swing outfit and something to do with living in a cottage in Switzerland, pet cow for fresh butter and cheese, and wheat and vegetables growing in your backyard. I am solicitous to all things draconian.

As a content-maker, I surround myself with the vestiges of the past and as best I can, incorporate it into my own creative productions. How does one

“absorb and accomodate the new modernity while till embracing the nourishing values of our traditional systems?”

I came across this article, “Don’t burn your books – Print is here to stay” that almost funnily juxtaposes the innovated changes to society’s functioning towards the shift on the more advanced technology. Apparently, “pundits have assumed that the future of book publishing is digital” and they could not be more wrong. Unlike the successful shift from page to screen in music, photographs and maps, the traditional paperback is resilient with a market that is finally on an incline.

I personally had no means of ever purchasing an E-Book/E-Reader and though I do have a Kindle account, I found it more to be a supplement to my traditional reading pleasures (i.e. further reading and research on certain passages). In saying that, would such response be similar to the other forms of media and content consumption? For example in the entertainment industry where there’s been a varied selection of films/television shows released in the last decade that ranges from the intergalactic, Star Wars-kind of advancements that seem more and more viable each year, to the Legend of Tarzan, Game of Thrones-esque that glorifies the classical past?

Is there a more growing audience in one genre than the other? And if so, is this affected by the technological advancement of the fourth industrial revolution? Do content makers such as myself who thrive and are especially attuned to the “bygone” days make less of an impact than those in the “modern” hemisphere? Would fundings and opportunities be negatively/positively affected and in what way?

Apart from digital media creating substantial benefits in the dissemination of information, the forming of communities and the “empowerment” of our “individuality”, there is that undercurrent issue of the separation between those who “adapt” and those who “resist” and whether society will deem one to be right, while demeaning the latter. In saying that, “technological advances are pushing us to new ethical frontiers of ethics”. Should there be a form of regulation in these advancements then? And how do we determine what is ethically correct?

More to come.


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