Ariel University, Department of Computer Science
*Corresponding author: Dan Ophir, Ariel University, Department of Computer Science
Submission: April 08, 2020; Published: April 15, 2020
We are currently living in an era full of ups and downs in all walks of life. Nowadays the world population is in a crisis – with seemingly diminishing health and increased mortality. There is a concern for the emergence of plagues similar to those seen in the far past, for example: Smallpox, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. We have overcome those diseases with the help of vaccinations (by Pasteur) and antibiotics (by Fleming).
Nowadays humanity is stopping to breathe (metaphorically and literally) – a devastating virus is attacking us; what protection means are being considered? One simple and effective means is isolation, which has been recommended by many medical experts. The fear of increased mortality influences the negative economic aspect of isolating a large part of the population, which is losing its work place – the source of its livelihood and here is where the plot switches.
The other part of the population is required “to work from home”.
This fact has caused a cultural “turnover”. We must remind ourselves about the industrial revelation that began with the invention of the steam machine, and the first steam train engine (Wat, Stevenson). This invention had many far-reaching implications, with the following consequences: the population migrated from rural villages to the city; the habitants’ professions changed from those of an agrarian population to an almost industrial society, and today, for example, about 3% of the US population supplies food to the whole country.
But what happens now? Nowadays, we are witnessing a new social phenomenon: the phenomenon of working from home – in addition to stopping the rest of the workforce from working, excluding the domain of what is considered as exceptional, crucial professions. The previous traffic jams are now not in transportation networks, but instead, now nearly all working people are in communication-media networks.
Here a silent revolution is concealed in which a small part of the population has improved its work environment, and large part of it has worsened its conditions; what can be expected in the long term? The present situation has opened up an opportunity for career retraining for the majority of the population, which will be undergoing a large-scale social and occupational transformation. In normal times, this would be nearly impossible to conceive. The authorities’ constraints and regulations take into consideration the majority of the population, and human’s natural conservative, inflexible nature.
Let’s take as an example the academic institutions, e.g., the universities and the Human Capital. The majority of the academic staff has changed from transmitting information from frontal lectures in auditoriums and lecture halls to working in front of computer screens at home or in a studio. Concerning the laboratories, according to the current technological development, a solution will be found in the future in many laboratory settings, for working using a ”Far Control” method. In addition, much of the the administrative staff will at least partially have to go on “unpaid leave”.
The Physical Capital – the infrastructure, including the buildings, the computer centers, the laboratories, and the roads will remain empty and useless. Therefore, in contrast to the terrifying expectation of thousands of fired workers, there is also an expectation of savings in terms of developing infrastructures: road networks, and public buildings, including banks, offices, and other previously essential structures and systems will be vacated or largely eliminated. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the people involved in them will be exploited for a new purpose, such as increasing the population.
Now is the time for the sociologists to take the initiative and to pay attention to the process of social transformation, through which humanity quickly passes nowadays, and to develop futuristic behavioral models according to the new reality being created. One of the questions that arose treats the increasing pockets of unemployment; what will be the future leisure culture or the entertainment. Probably, the social media networks will play an important role in entertainment, as well as in environment and culture modeling. The end-points will be found in the hands of the whole population, in their houses and not in the amusement parks. The video-conference meetings will replace the usual places of frontal meetings. It is reasonable to assume that the population migration direction will be the opposite of the one that has taken place during the industrial revolution – this time; the movement will be from the city to the rural village.
One should think about an appropriate general name for all the social processes that are taking place before our eyes. The following are suggested: “The Communication Revolution under the the ‘Corona’ Epidemic”, “Let ‘Corona’ (crown) Arrive to the ‘Corona’ (virus)”. The virus receives some recognition, and a respectful place in the revolution it created, since it is a catalyzer of painful techno-social processes, but with expectations for future prosperity at the life-level, even higher than the level that preceded the emergence of the ‘Corona’ virus.
The expressions that once looked abstract – theoretical, such as e-learning, e-commerce – telemarketing. Telemedicine, and video-conferences, which were until now common but in a reduced scope, among some social groups, are currently justified and widespread.
We will have to get used to new living patterns, and after the passing of the “Corona” catalyzer, we will not return to our old habits and routines, which would now seem to us as archaic.
© 2020 Dan Ophir. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.