James Burke: Connections
Burke asserts that one cannot consider the development of any particular part of the modern world in isolation. ‘Connections’ explores an Alternative View of Change rejecting the conventional linear and teleological view of historical progress.
He contends that the modern world is the result of a network of interconnected events, each one consisting of a person or group acting for reasons and motivations of their own which could be profit or curiosity or even religious motivations with no concept of the end result of what either their or their contemporaries’ actions finally led to. The main focus of the series and its sequels is to find how the interaction of the results of these isolated events drove history and innovation.
To demonstrate this view, each episode is begun with a particular event or innovation in the past and from there the path from that event is charted through a series of seemingly disparate connections to a primary and essential aspect of the modern world. For example, The Long Chain episode traces the invention of plastics from the development of the fluyt, a type of Dutch cargo ship.James Burke: Connections,