The Seven Ages of Computer Connectivity

Flush with Possibilities and Faced with Decisions

John F. Barber
Northwestern State University


Futurists predict that networked computer technology, with its abilities to store, retrieve, share, and make information promises a world profoundly diff erent than the one we currently inhabit. In the future, they say, we will be flush with possibilities and faced with decisions.

As these scenarios evolve, so will our notions of writing. Therefore, knowing something of the potential for change implicit in these future scenarios and how they may affect the teaching and learning of writing by affecting the world around us is both practical and appropriate.

Borrowing from the notion of a geological "age" to denote a period of time during which something exists in a state or fashion or capacity significantly different than other periods of time, and inspired by whimsy, I have settled on The Seven Ages of Computer Connectivity---The Computer Age, The Information Age, The Shocked Age, The Telespheral Age, The Aquarian Age, The Transhuman Age, and The Digital Age.

Interconnected and repetitive themes swirl and circle back and forth on each other in each of these ages. From these themes I have attempted to produce a multilayered linked and overlapping series of speculations on The Seven Ages of Computer Connectivity.

This webbed writing was reviewed by Ted Nellen and Judi Kirkpatrick of the Kairos Editorial Board.

Contact John Barber
About the Author
John F. Barber teaches courses in advanced composition, creative writing, technical writing, composition theory, and computers and composition at Northwestern State University. He is interested in pedagogical and cultural issues raised by the intersection of literacy, technology, and society.

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Kairos Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments
Vol. 2 No. 1 Spring 1997