The economic optimism that many expressed coming into 2012 is now far behind us. Month after month of anemic growth in America, ineffective leadership in Europe, and slowing economies in China and India has sent the world economy into a prolonged blight, and people are once again concerned that we may see a double-dip in the recession before the year is out.But amidst all the bad news, there are a few bright spots. Energy discoveries in America are one, and the growth of online education is another. Many of the biggest advances, however, are coming in the world of technology.The New York Times reports today that spending on IT is growing rapidly despite the doldrums of the economy at large. Total spending on IT is projected to reach $3.6 trillion in 2012, far above the expectations of most analysts. The growth is in telecommunications and new services that take advantage of “cloud computing” software.This means much more than high stock prices for some of the world’s tech companies. It means that the transformation of our economic and social reality by a revolution that can only be compared to the industrial and neolithic revolutions is moving steadily ahead and even picking up steam.