Connections In this bestselling book James Burke examines the ideas inventions and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today He untangles the pattern of interconnecting eve

  • Title: Connections
  • Author: JamesBurke
  • ISBN: 9780316116855
  • Page: 333
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this bestselling book, James Burke examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today He untangles the pattern of interconnecting events, the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to major inventions of the world Says Burke, My purpose is to acquaint the reader with some of the forcesIn this bestselling book, James Burke examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today He untangles the pattern of interconnecting events, the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to major inventions of the world Says Burke, My purpose is to acquaint the reader with some of the forces that have caused change in the past, looking in particular at eight innovations the computer, the production line, telecommunications, the airplane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and television which may be most influential in structuring our own futures Each one of these is part of a family of similar devices, and is the result of a sequence of closely connected events extending from the ancient world until the present day Each has enormous potential for humankind s benefit or destruction.

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    One thought on “Connections”

    1. The world seems to be infinitely complicated and quite 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 [...]

    2. This is the only "history" book I am aware of that follows lines of thought through history, rather than an individual person or invention.This is the proverbial butterfly fluttering its wings in the 12th century, leading to cell phone technology today.The book can be a bit disconcerting to read, since you can read it in any order you like. This is a unique experience in my book-reading life, and the first time I read this book I read it front to back.Later I went back and followed particular th [...]

    3. Connections was written as a companion series to a documentary series of the same name. I've heard great things about the show, and since I really enjoyed the book, I'll track it down eventually. Burke's basic arguments here is that history is a continuum, not a series of isolated events. And so the atomic bomb owes its existence, in part, to that marvel of military engineering, the stirrup. It is indeed fascinating to trace the development of things that only seem unrelated and turn out to be o [...]

    4. 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 library.I've long been fascinated with history in general, and inventions in particular so I supp [...]

    5. History has the tendency of being seen as static and frozen when we view it from a a later time. What happened is what happened, and nothing else could have happened because, again, at that point, it is set in stone. Once upon a time, however, history could have gone any number of ways, and much of the time, it’s the act of change and transition that help drive history through various eras.James Burke is one of my favorite historical authors, and I am a big fan of his ideas behind “Connected [...]

    6. I wish history textbooks were more like this! James Burke introduces Connections with the story of the 1965 Northeast Blackout. He pauses to consider how reliant we have become on technology and how little of it we understand before launching into a history of invention, from the plow to the modern day (well, 1978). If we expect to truly appreciate the convenience of our inventions, he makes a strong case that we should have some idea of how those inventions work and the physical processes that [...]

    7. 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 reviews) which was even worse.The 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 suppor [...]

    8. This book is the "companion" to a BBC TV series first broadcast in the '70s or early '80s. I found it interesting enough but intellectually weak. It purports to trace the history of development of various "modern" inventions, such as the jet engine, the computer and television, starting with the invention of agriculture. Where we arrive at the first problem; farming allowed the first division of labour into different, specialised occupations, which in turn, allowed the development of technology. [...]

    9. James Burke was originally a news reader for the BBC who went on to write a series of very interesting books/TV programmes (heck he is British). I both read and watched the "Connections" and "Connections II" (and there is a third one whose title escapes me) books and shows many years ago.They are older so the CGI and FX are not what you could see today, but the information and linkages in the material is really very good. Not fiction, but facts and presented in rather unique ways.I strongly reco [...]

    10. Based on the truly genius series shown on PBS in the US. I grew up with this and loved it from the initial showing. I still go back and watch it probably once a year as an adult. The book aligns with the first series and is just as great. In regards to the series, the second 'season' was not nearly as good. The third was better but still not quite as good as the first.If you liked the TV series, the book is more of the same - brilliant.

    11. If you are like me and want to know how something was invented, why it was invented, who invented it, where it came from etc etc etc this is the book for you. It takes you from the very beginning through current technology (I think the 1987's). there is also a PBS series on this which someday I am hoping to watch. Fascinating.

    12. Great links from ancient history to ?odern times. Filled with litte kwon facts. The conections made by the author are his ownBut intriging none the less. Certain facts certainly speak for themselves.

    13. Quite appreciated this historical science series, print and tv, and am enjoying Steven Johnson use of the same format with his How We Got to Now.Definitely re-read material.

    14. Usually, you have to read good fiction to have a book convey so subtly its message using information that is itself disposable. This book will alter the way you look at the world by presenting you many stories you won’t remember in a year. I first read this book when I was a sophomore in high school, and it was the first time I was aware a book was changing my world view as I read it. Everything to that point had presented technological development with hindsight, as though it was an intention [...]

    15. I pity people who didn't see the original Connections series. It was breathtaking, truly. Burke's ability to demonstrate linkages through time kept me spellbound. The book is a good standalone read and an even better study guide to the series. Whether you have access to the series or not, I still recommend it as a worthy read.

    16. Changed the way I looked at history and made me an amateur historian. Riveting history for people who don't like history.

    17. From the digging stick to navigation and power, light, warfare, defense, and communications, connections are not always linear and do not always depend on great inventors acting alone.

    18. Worldbuilding is one of the most difficult challenges a speculative fiction writer can face. It’s difficult to balance the believability, research, and discretion necessary for it to be effective. It needs to be believable; it needs to be well-researched; and it needs to be the setting, not the story. The existence of Worldbuilders’ Disease speaks to this difficulty, as we’ve seen over and over again in the past.One of the best examples of worldbuilding in the last decade is the world of A [...]

    19. A fascinating journey up and down avenues of human ingenuity and ambition. Often the history of human progress is painted as a current driven by a few geniuses who every so often make large strokes against the canvas, however this book paints the far more accurate and colorful picture of a multitude of tiny discoveries from typically humble beginnings that lead to more tiny discoveries, and the threads weave and interweave until we marvel at the innovation of the tapestry. Though many other book [...]

    20. First, I must recommend any television program associated with James Burke, especially Connections 2, which is the reason I checked this book of my library in the first place.This book, inspired by the original 1970s Connection program, really is like reading a complete history of everything, though its aim is little more narrowed down: how change happens. The kind of changes he details are incredible--political, cultural, technological, scientific. And what is really eye-opening is how all thes [...]

    21. Uma coisa é afirmar que isto anda tudo ligado, insinuando os padrões inusitados e as interligações inesperadas que detectamos na nossa herança cultural. Outra é realmente prová-lo, pegando na história da ciência e tecnologia para nos mostrar os caminhos sinuosos e inusitados que nos levaram ao mundo contemporâneo. algo que James Burke sempre fez com enorme mestria, levando-nos em viagens do presente ao passado até ao regresso ao presente, mostrando que caminhos as tecnologias que hoje [...]

    22. US News and World report interviewed some Business School professors on some of the greatest business books. A Dartmouth Professor recommended this book. The premise of the book is that innovations of the past built to innovations today. The author does not take into account dumb luck as much as a market need for innovation. This was a PBS series in the late 1970's. It was written in 1978 and I am told the book is out of print. It is a slow read, with so much detail and pictures. The book Talks [...]

    23. This is a $1.50 used book I picked up at the Library published in1978. The author has a gimmick he uses to trace the development of technology by starting with one invention and moving forward in time through related inventions or people, often ending up in an entirely different area. For example the history of weapons and armies runs from expensive trained horse mounted knights with armies numbered in a few thousands to untrained infantry with firearms numbered in many tens of thousands. The ne [...]

    24. Connections is the companion volume to the BBC television series “Connections” produced in the Autumn of 1979. I originaly read connections after watching the BBC series on my local PBS station. Connections explores an “Alternative View of Change” (the subtitle of the BBC series). Burke thesis us that technology advancement is the result of a web of connections between separate events. Each event is the result of one person or group acting as the result of separate motivations. Each chap [...]

    25. The series was must-match TV back in the day when if you missed it, you missed it. That's probably one of the four stars. It hasn't dated much because he didn't, until the very end, predict the future of innovation, just its history and mechanism. So more current advances are guessed at, they're just missing.However, an interesting addendum is the four possible responses he predicted back in 1978 to technology taking over our lives, in the final few pages:1) We will reduce our reliance on techno [...]

    26. Burke’s Connections TV series is magnificent stuff. I love the way he manages to wrangle disparate topics across science and history to show how much of innovation and advancement is non-linear. The book sets out to do the same thing and does a pretty good job. At times I didn’t quite see how the dots connected, but I definitely enjoyed the ride.The final chapter, where he summarizes why this all matters, is I think the strongest. He talks about how learning history in a linear fashion (as w [...]

    27. Good read if interested in inventions, inventors, and the connections between them. Burke clearly has a mind for this sort of web of coincidences and is good at describing technical advances. Appreciated having a printed version too, as pictures were much more easily readable. As an avid history reader, the book does fall short in some of its characterizations. He is somewhat facile in his descriptions of historical ages - frequent use of "Dark Ages" complete with misconceptions of stagnation, a [...]

    28. Have you ever considered how one discovery often leads to another? The computer you're reading this review on could not have come about if someone had not discovered how electricity works, another developed the theory, and someone else then found practical ways of using it.James Burke has given a lot of thought to such interrelations -- many times over, and with a lot more inventiveness than most people. Connections explores how, for instance, a water-wheel grain mill led to punch-card computers [...]

    29. Connections is an incredibly interesting look at the process of scientific discovery through journeys that connect two seemingly disparate pieces of technology. By using these journeys to demonstrate how accident, epiphany, and circumstances can lead to inventions that change the course of history, James Burke is stating that history does in fact have something to say about the future. He claims that patterns of discovery are tied to qualities of humanity, so that we can look at the circumstance [...]

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