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Journal Articles Anthropocene Review Year : 2017

Digital Revolution or Anthropocenic Feedback?

Stéphane Grumbach
Olivier Hamant


Digital technologies are shaking the world. They contribute to the emergence of new modes of organisations of our economies, privileging direct horizontal exchanges between ubiquitously connected humans. Although the rise of new technologies and social behaviours may appear coincidental, we investigate whether an anthropocenic feedback may contribute to their current blooming. The profound shift resulting from the flattening of hierarchical structures through algorithmic intermediation suggests that a more essential need is at stake. In the biosphere, horizontal resilience strategies, e.g., sexual vs. asexual reproduction, are promoted when resources become scarce. We investigate the relationships between resource scarcity and horizontal resilience in the technosphere, and the striking similarities with mechanisms of the biosphere, thus suggesting that the rise of the digital layer may have been fuelled by the end of abundance. Following this biological analogy further, we predict that the increasing autonomy of the digital layer might even help achieve global homeostasis in the technosphere.
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Dates and versions

hal-01227303 , version 1 (10-11-2015)
hal-01227303 , version 2 (02-01-2018)



Stéphane Grumbach, Olivier Hamant. Digital Revolution or Anthropocenic Feedback?. Anthropocene Review, 2017, 5 (1), pp.1-12. ⟨10.1177/2053019617748337⟩. ⟨hal-01227303v2⟩
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