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It is typically said that there have been four social revolutions in the history of humankind. The last three of these have clearly been the result of what we would normally call “technology.” The first revolution to occur is somewhat harder to attribute to technology.
The first social revolution came with the domestication of plants and animals. In other words, this was the revolution that occurred when agriculture arose. This revolution allowed people to live in sedentary groups instead of engaging in hunting and gathering, which is typically a nomadic way of life.
The second revolution came about with the invention of the plow. This invention allowed for more efficient and productive agriculture. That meant that there could be larger groups of people living together. This eventually led to the creation of what we now call society.
The third revolution was the industrial revolution. This came with the invention of the steam engine. This made society much more urbanized. It helped cause society to move from what sociologists call “Gemeinschaft” to “Gesellschaft.” In other words, it completely changed the way in which people in society are tied to one another.
The final revolution came about with the invention of the microchip. This led to computerization. It helped to move rich societies, at least, away from industry. This is why we now have a post-industrial society.
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