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ConnectionsAward winning book and PBS Television series deals with the development of technologies. The world seems to be infinitely complicated and uite frankly totally beyond the comprehension of any of us As science progresses one would need to live a dozen lifetimes and would still not be able to understand all of the processes and theories that are used daily to create the world we inhabit You might think it is hard to program your DVD Recorder I almost said VCR but who has one of those nowadays but what if you had to build a television set from scratch What if you had to go back and work on a farm with no petrol and no farming euipment – would you have any idea how to use a ploughThis book a companion to the television series was in The Book Grocer and I couldn’t have been delighted to have gotten it I’ve liked James Burke ever since seeing his The Day the Universe Changed but this was on TV before that and if anything it is a better series We like to think that it is the great men who make the remarkable discoveries that cause the great technological leaps forward Burke is the best cure for this kind of thinking He shows that really the world of knowledge is like a huge jigsaw puzzle and it is only when all of the pieces are in place that you can start to see the picture He shows that one invention doesn’t uite lead to the next invention in a straight line – what might be invented so as to spray perfume might just get used next to make a carburettor As you see hardly a straight lineNewton once said that if he had seen further it was because he was standing on the shoulders of giants – okay so he was saying that so as to annoy one of his rivals who was particularly short – but all the same the idea was right even if the intent was a bit nasty To Burke it is only within interconnections and relationships that the world makes any sense at all The last part of this work is still as relevant today as it was in 1979 What are we to do about the increasing complexity and speed of technological advance How dangerous and frightening is it that we simply don’t know or don’t understand even the basics of how all the bits that make up our world fit together Is there a way to stop or should we happily hand over control of the world to the bureaucrats who ‘know best’Because that is the other thing Burke shows that every great step forward initially looked well a bit daft when it was first invented Powerful thought provoking and exciting – God if television was like this I would go back to watching it The book has wonderful illustrations and than just what is on the series If you can get your hands on this it really is worth having I've just discovered that two further series of this were made i'm looking forward to seeing them

James Burke ↠ 8 characters

And the connections of discoveries Recently reprinted in paperback this hardcover origin. I first became a fan of James Burke back in the 70's when I was in high school and was exposed to a few of his Connections documentaries on PBS But then I promptly forgot all about him until last year when I was paging through my Netflix recommendations and realized the entire series was available My wife and I watched them all and I was so intrigued that I went ahead and bought this book for my libraryI've long been fascinated with history in general and inventions in particular so I suppose the material in this book was bound to be of interest Just as in the TV series Mr Burke does an amazing job of tying in all of the steps planned or accidental that lead from one innovation centuries ago all the way to our modern day conveniences Tracing the modern ballistic missile back to the development of cannon balls or the cell phone to medieval church postal services or the atomic bomb back to the stirrup is fascinating stuff But the author delves deeper than that into the very nature of how change occurs and how change effects society itself What most amazes me I think is the way so much of what we take for granted today is the result of so many tiny innovations having taken place across the globe seemingly unrelated to one another Of course we all know how accidents lead to inventions but to actually follow the path makes for a fun time It also opens one's eyes to see just how dependent we are on the state of technology todayIn addition it was extremely helpful to my understanding to see all of the pictures diagrams maps etc that accompany the text in this book If you've seen the TV show then many of the topics presented here will be an updated review But the 'connections' are so numerous and overlapping that I doubt you'll be boredHighly recommended

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characters Connections ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ¶ Award winning book and PBS Television series deals with the development of technologies and the connections of discoveries Recently reprinted in paperback this hardcover original edition is nicely printed with color and bw photos and drawings Always a favorite bookAl edition is nicely printed with color and bw photos and drawings Always a favorite boo. I’ve been burned twice by reading “How We Got to Now” by Steven Johnson First I just didn’t like that book Second it led me to this book by way of some goodreads reviews which was even worseThe book is way too sweeping in its historical retellings and the scientific descriptions are densely mind numbing Here’s an example which is representative of much of the book“On this new loom the threads were stretched horizontally on a frame Two horizontal boards above the frame each supported two horizontal boards with holes in them Through the holes in one board passed the even numbered threads of the warp while the odd numbered threads passed through holes in the other These boards were lifted alternately by the use of foot pedals attached to the overhead supporting boards All the weaver had to do in order to pass the weft thread through the alternate warp threads was to press down on the pedals and the threads would lift leaving a gap through which the weft thread could be thrown attached to a shuttle On the return journey the alternate threads would be lifted and so on The swordbeater for packing the warp now came in the form a permanently attached comb like device pulled back towards the weaver whenever necessary” There are many illustrations which are very helpful but way too much of this type of writing