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Making the Information Society: Experience, Consequences, and Possibilities by James W. Cortada

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Chapter 5. How Information Is Playing a Bigger Role in American Work

 

The future never just happened. It was created.

 
 --WILL AND ARIEL DURANT

Workplaces are as varied in America as anywhere in the world. Traditionally, they were farms, factories, and offices. In all probability, your great-great-grandfather was a farmer. He could read, although not as well as his children. Jobs in factories and offices became the norm by the early 1900s. Workers spent long hours in buildings which, by the time of the Spanish-American War, already had a large variety of information and tools with which to collect, organize, and use data. Manufacturing shop floors had manuals and three-ring binders; offices had file cabinets and adding machines. The telephone made ...

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