A revolution has occurred during our lifetime in the collection, storage, and communication of information, a revolution whose full significance is scarcely understood even by those responsible for its development. At the core of this revolution, and its most visible component, is electronic data processing via the computer. The computer has shown an impressive ability to handle increasing complexity at greater speeds while decreasing its use of power, cost, and space. In this book, however, John McHale shows how the impact of the information revolution stretches far beyond these specific developments. It lies (1) in the expansion and interlinkage of computer-based systems and their extension into larger areas of automated control; (2) in the convergence and relationship of such systems with concurrently developing communications technologies; and (3) in the ways in which these combine together to create a radically new information environment, whose major impacts will be felt most critically within the next ten to twenty years. Mr McHale believes that the emergence of information and knowledge as our basic resources signifies profound consequences that will affect the structure of society itself and the institutional and value premises upon which it operates: The increased dependence upon information as key societal resource will move society, within the next ten to twenty years, from industrially based forms to post-industrial forms whose possible configurations of institutions, governance and value systems are still open to conjecture. In society in general, with the new social wealth generated by information and communications technologies, the whole character of the survival game is being changed. It is now more clearly a non-zero-sum game in which success or gain is predicated on all winning.