Our physical universe is governed by Einstein’s equation E = mc2, where a particle of mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light becomes energy. Our societal world also uses the equation E = mc2, but differently. The « weight » of a piece of information multiplied by the square of the number of citizens-users (according to the Law of Metcalfe) creates the energy that propels the changes we are now beginning to experience.
We have always regarded information primarily as a given. Today, we must instead consider information as energy.
By becoming opinion, information gains power which is conferred on the information by the thousands of people who share it. It is this energy that drives them to vote, drink, to participate in community life, and thus influence the economy or government. If the information speaks for everyone, opinion is aimed at particular groups of individuals; we can verify information, but one must argue an opinion.
When information is translated into an argument it is opinion; because it has an energy, information becomes a force for change.
Information and opinion
During the last fifty years, the information processing from the installation of millions of IT systems gave us large amounts of data used to describe reality: what we call Big Data today. But by customizing the approaches, citizens speaking out create a large quantity of opinions (chapter 7, no 7) :
Information which was a civic good during the industrial age, becomes a civic right with the advent of the knowledge-based society
A feedback loop
With the emergence of geolocation and mobile devices, the new means of communication changes the current social landscape by introducing a feedback loop into human activities.
Below, we can observe the political parties during the industrial era generate ideas which are then relayed by mass media using a top-down strategy (top down). Now, new intermediaries are using social networks as a sounding board to intervene at all stages of the process :
It is also true for all other areas of human activities, whether they are cultural or economic.