brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns

pyramid2dna

pyramid to dna

James Burke




See “only connect” in Knowledge: Its Economics and Its Productivity

 

   

You can make all the plans you will, plot to make a fortune in the commodities market, speculate on developing trends: all will likely come to naught, for “however carefully you plan for the future, someone else’s actions will inevitably modify the way your plans turn out.”

So writes the English scholar and documentary producer James Burke in his sparkling book “Connections”, a favorite of historically minded readers ever since its first publication in 1978.


Taking a hint from Jacob Bronowski’s “Ascent of Man”, Burke charts the course of technological innovation from ancient times to the present, but always with a subversive eye for things happening in spite of, and not because of, their inventors’ intentions.


Burke gives careful attention to the role of accident in human history.


In his opening pages, for instance, he writes of the invention of uniform coinage, an invention that hinged on some unknown Anatolian prospector’s discovering that a fleck of gold rubbed against a piece of schist—a “touchstone”—would leave a mark indicating its quality.


Just so, we owe the invention of modern printing to Johann Gutenberg’s training as a goldsmith, for his knowledge of the properties of metals enabled him to develop a press whose letterforms would not easily wear down.


With Gutenberg’s invention, Burke notes, came a massive revolution in the European economy, for, as he writes, “the easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens.”

Burke’s book is a splendid and educational entertainment for our fast-changing time.“ — Gregory McNamee

Amazon link: Connections

Amazon link: Circles: Fifty Round Trips Through History Technology Science Culture

Amazon link: The Day the Universe Changed

Amazon link: The Knowledge Web : From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back — And Other Journeys Through Knowledge

Amazon link: The Pinball Effect: How Renaissance Water Gardens Made the Carburetor Possible—and Other Journeys

 

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker


The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context

 

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These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point

 

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