The Fourth Wave: What shall it be, students?
The Fourth Wave: What shall it be, students?
  • 임리영 기자
  • 승인 2006.10.04 00:00
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▲ [Photos and illustration provided by]What shall be the next wave after history? past trails of what the Tofflers refer to as the (1) agrarian society (2) Industrial Revolution and the (3) Information Age?

   Alvin and Heidi Toffler? new book entitled The Revolutionary Wealth once again predicts the future by expanding the concept of the Third Wave and the Information Age.
   Alvin and Heidi Toffler, the renowned pair of futurists have categorized mankind? developmental procedures into three conspicuous parts: the First Wave being the agrarian triumph over hunting and gathering; the Second Wave indicating the industrialized world and mass-everything; and the Third Wave being post-industrial period that focuses on networks and what the Tofflers call de-massification. In their most recent book, the two authors now forecast that future wealth will be driven by knowledge.
   Amid such pervasive theories and calculation of the future, the Ewha Voice asked seven Korean students attending universities within and outside the nation about their prospective visions of the Fourth Wave.
   ?bviously, the waves occur because of inefficiency in overall society and the arising needs of the general public,?comments Lee Jun-haeng (Harvard University, 3). In predicting the Fourth Wave, Lee says that there are two different perspectives according to how one interprets history. If history repeats itself and is circular, then the next coming wave may be ?etro of ideologies.?According to Lee, the current Information Society is suffering from unproductive management of excessive information. Such circumstance may create nihilism among the populace and trigger a quench for a set of premise or ideology. Nonetheless, if history is linear, then the new wealth or ?aves?will be caused by Biotechnology (BT) or space engineering that Toffler himself mentions.
   Like Lee, Chung June-young (University of Pennsylvania, 3) also believes that BT will be next wave that hits human society. ?owadays, humans?main concern lies not in whether they can survive or not, but in how they can enjoy life without any kind of spiritual or physical agony,?says Chung. Thus, Chung believes that people? desire to lead better, more convenient, and healthier lives will eventually stimulate BT to be the next dominant wealth factor. ?fter the BT revolution, the human race may need more resources due to depleted oil reserves and natural gases, and search for something useful and different in space,?says Chung.
   Parallel to Chung and Lee? idea, Lim Young-uk (Korea University, 1), and Kim Ki-hwan (Korea University, 1) believes that BT or genetic engineering especially in the field of medical care will be the next wave that sweeps through human civilization. ?uman interests seem to be shifting from profit-seeking to self-construction, namely well-being, health-care, and appearance,?comments Lim. That is why he believes genetic engineering is considered as the most easily attainable solution to satisfy people? ?ourth?desire; finding cures for diseases by maximizing organ transplants for patients. Lim also thinks that the constant growth of the stock market in the field of genetic engineering and biological industry certainly reflects BT? potential to be the next revolution holder. Upon the hypothesis that BT does actually become the next wave,  Kim says, ?nce BT conceptualizes as the Fourth Wave, laws and morals for any dramatic changes that BT might bring is critical.?Besides space engineering and BT, there were three other predictions for the constitution of the Fourth Wave. ? think the Fourth Wave will be something that makes people? lives more convenient than now, which will be further digital technology and ubiquitous revolution. This will allow communication without any limits of space and language,?comments Kim Hyun-jun (Sungkyunkwan University, 1). Kim Jung-mee (Sogang University, 3) considers ?uman-relationship society?to be the end product of the next wave. ?n this age of specialization, information and goods can be bought and sold. Nonetheless, relationships are priceless. Therefore, maintaining genuine relationships with others will be pivotal,?comments Kim. Cho Min-kyung (Television & Film, 3) considers environmental preservation to be the next revolutionary key as more environment is being destructed in our time and people will soon realize the fatalness of the abysmal pit they have put themselves into.

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