James Burke (science historian) citáty

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James Burke (science historian)

Datum narození: 22. prosinec 1936

James Burke is a British broadcaster, science historian, author, and television producer, who is known, among other things, for his documentary television series Connections , and for its more philosophically oriented companion series, The Day the Universe Changed , which is about the history of science and technology. The Washington Post has called him "one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world".

Citáty James Burke (science historian)

„I suppose what institutions like this do, most of all, is the dirty work. While they're putting them away here in the law court, for instance, that leaves us free to get on with making money, having a career, and avoiding the social responsibilities that these people have to deal with. And after a few centuries of this buck-passing, the institutions get big and powerful, and reach into everybody's lives so much they become hard to alter and virtually impossible to get rid of.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

The Day the Universe Changed (1985), 1 - The Way We Are
Kontext: If something becomes common enough to turn into a ritual, and then starts to involve really large numbers of people, that's when the ritual becomes something else. It becomes widespread enough to affect the general agreement we all share. So, that's when the responsibility for running it goes out of your hands to be taken over by the institutions set up to run the rituals that matter on a regular basis, so that people can have clear rules and regulations to follow if they decide to get up to that particular ritual. The institutions take the admin out of daily life and run it for you: banking, government, sewage, tax collecting. Or, if you break the rules and regulations, one institution can take you out of daily life. This one: (James Burke displays a trial.) In every community, the law -- whether it's dressed up like this or the village elders telling you what the local custom is -- the law is all those rules I was on about earlier. I suppose what institutions like this do, most of all, is the dirty work. While they're putting them away here in the law court, for instance, that leaves us free to get on with making money, having a career, and avoiding the social responsibilities that these people have to deal with. And after a few centuries of this buck-passing, the institutions get big and powerful, and reach into everybody's lives so much they become hard to alter and virtually impossible to get rid of.

„You see how increasingly the only way we in the advanced industrial nations, with our bewildering technology network, can survive, is by selling bewilderment and dependence on technology to the rest of the world.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 1 - The Trigger Effect
Kontext: You see how increasingly the only way we in the advanced industrial nations, with our bewildering technology network, can survive, is by selling bewilderment and dependence on technology to the rest of the world. Or is it not bewilderment and dependence, but a healthier wealthier better way of living than the old way? And, yet, whether or not you dress up technology to look local, the technology network is the same. And as it spreads, will it spread the ability to use machines, as we do, without understanding them?

„Some things, this ritual says, must be permanent.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

The Day the Universe Changed (1985), 1 - The Way We Are
Kontext: The oldest answers to the most basic questions about how to operate are common to virtually every culture on the planet, because at the simplest level, every culture needs to keep order -- especially this kind: (James Burke displays a wedding ring.) This is one of those things in life we protect most against being changed when knowledge changes us. We protect it by turning it into a ritual. When we get married, or buried, get christened, or anything else too important to play by ear, the event is turned into a kind of play where everybody gets a role they act out. It's a kind of public agreement to stick to the general rules about whatever it is. The people doing it are effectively saying, "No matter what else may change, we won't rock the boat! We're not maverick. You can trust us." Expressions of approval follow. Most of these ritual ways of answering a social need that we got from the past look like it. They include something from an ancient rite -- in this case, the old symbol of fertility: the ring. And then, it's all done in the presence of a supernatural being: a God. So, the agreement is also made under what was once a real threat of heavenly retribution if you broke your promise later on. Some things, this ritual says, must be permanent.

„This makes you think in straight lines. And if today doesn't happen in straight lines -- think of your own experience -- why should the past have?“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 10 - Yesterday, Tomorrow and You
Kontext: The question is in what way are the triggers around us likely to operate to cause things to change -- for better or worse. And, is there anything we can learn from the way that happened before, so we can teach ourselves to look for and recognize the signs of change? The trouble is, that's not easy when you have been taught as I was, for example, that things in the past happened in straight-forward lines. I mean, take one oversimple example of what I'm talking about: the idea of putting the past into packaged units -- subjects, like agriculture. The minute you look at this apparently clear-cut view of things, you see the holes. I mean, look at the tractor. Oh sure, it worked in the fields, but is it a part of the history of agriculture or a dozen other things? The steam engine, the electric spark, petroleum development, rubber technology. It's a countrified car. And, the fertilizer that follows; it doesn't follow! That came from as much as anything else from a fellow trying to make artificial diamonds. And here's another old favorite: Eureka! Great Inventors You know, the lonely genius in the garage with a lightbulb that goes ping in his head. Well, if you've seen anything of this series, you'll know what a wrong approach to things that is. None of these guys did anything by themselves; they borrowed from other people's work. And how can you say when a golden age of anything started and stopped? The age of steam certainly wasn't started by James Watt; nor did the fellow whose engine he was trying to repair -- Newcomen, nor did his predecessor Savorey, nor did his predecessor Papert. And Papert was only doing what he was doing because they had trouble draining the mines. You see what I'm trying to say? This makes you think in straight lines. And if today doesn't happen in straight lines -- think of your own experience -- why should the past have? That's part of what this series has tried to show: that the past zig-zagged along -- just like the present does -- with nobody knowing what's coming next. Only we do it more complicatedly, and it's because our lives are that much more complex than theirs were that it's worth bothering about the past. Because if you don't know how you got somewhere, you don't know where you are. And we are at the end of a journey -- the journey from the past.

„And at the same time, tied us for good, to the things that we invent so that tomorrow will be better than today.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 1 - The Trigger Effect
Kontext: The Egyptians built an empire and ran it with a handful of technology... the wheel, irrigation canals, the loom, the calendar, pen & ink, some cutting tools, some simple metallurgy, and the plough, the invention that triggered it all off. And yet look how complex and sophisticated their civilisation was. And how soon it happened, after that first man-made harvest. The Egyptian plough and those of the few other civilisations sprang up around the world at the same time... Gave us control over nature... And at the same time, tied us for good, to the things that we invent so that tomorrow will be better than today. The Egyptians knew that. That's why they had gods. To make sure that their systems didn't fail.

„Small wonder that centuries afterwards the Greeks and Romans came here and gawked like peasants at a civilisation that made their efforts look like well-dressed mud huts. It still has that effect today. You come here from the great modern cities, full of the immense power of modern technology at your finger tips, press a button, turn a switch. And this place… stops you dead.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 1 - The Trigger Effect
Kontext: These are the great ancient temples of Karnak, on the edge of the Nile about 450 miles south of Cairo. They were the center of Egyptian religion, built in the imperial city of Thebes, when the Egyptian empire was at its height, the greatest power in the world. This was the New York of its time. The temples were built over a period of 2,000 years, each pharaoh adding his bit, leaving his name in stone, to last forever. Inside the temple domain, there were 65 towns, 433 gardens & orchards, 400,000 animals, and it took 80,000 people just to run the place. Small wonder that centuries afterwards the Greeks and Romans came here and gawked like peasants at a civilisation that made their efforts look like well-dressed mud huts. It still has that effect today. You come here from the great modern cities, full of the immense power of modern technology at your finger tips, press a button, turn a switch. And this place... stops you dead.

„The trouble is, that's not easy when you have been taught as I was, for example, that things in the past happened in straight-forward lines.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 10 - Yesterday, Tomorrow and You
Kontext: The question is in what way are the triggers around us likely to operate to cause things to change -- for better or worse. And, is there anything we can learn from the way that happened before, so we can teach ourselves to look for and recognize the signs of change? The trouble is, that's not easy when you have been taught as I was, for example, that things in the past happened in straight-forward lines. I mean, take one oversimple example of what I'm talking about: the idea of putting the past into packaged units -- subjects, like agriculture. The minute you look at this apparently clear-cut view of things, you see the holes. I mean, look at the tractor. Oh sure, it worked in the fields, but is it a part of the history of agriculture or a dozen other things? The steam engine, the electric spark, petroleum development, rubber technology. It's a countrified car. And, the fertilizer that follows; it doesn't follow! That came from as much as anything else from a fellow trying to make artificial diamonds. And here's another old favorite: Eureka! Great Inventors You know, the lonely genius in the garage with a lightbulb that goes ping in his head. Well, if you've seen anything of this series, you'll know what a wrong approach to things that is. None of these guys did anything by themselves; they borrowed from other people's work. And how can you say when a golden age of anything started and stopped? The age of steam certainly wasn't started by James Watt; nor did the fellow whose engine he was trying to repair -- Newcomen, nor did his predecessor Savorey, nor did his predecessor Papert. And Papert was only doing what he was doing because they had trouble draining the mines. You see what I'm trying to say? This makes you think in straight lines. And if today doesn't happen in straight lines -- think of your own experience -- why should the past have? That's part of what this series has tried to show: that the past zig-zagged along -- just like the present does -- with nobody knowing what's coming next. Only we do it more complicatedly, and it's because our lives are that much more complex than theirs were that it's worth bothering about the past. Because if you don't know how you got somewhere, you don't know where you are. And we are at the end of a journey -- the journey from the past.

„If you believe that science and technology have given us the highest standard of living in history or that they have trapped us inside of a machine we can't escape from, we live in a situation we inherited, as a result of a long and complex series of events through history.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 9 - Countdown
Kontext: If you believe that science and technology have given us the highest standard of living in history or that they have trapped us inside of a machine we can't escape from, we live in a situation we inherited, as a result of a long and complex series of events through history. At no time in the past could anybody have known that what they were doing then would end up like this now.

„The oldest answers to the most basic questions about how to operate are common to virtually every culture on the planet, because at the simplest level, every culture needs to keep order“

—  James Burke (science historian)

The Day the Universe Changed (1985), 1 - The Way We Are
Kontext: The oldest answers to the most basic questions about how to operate are common to virtually every culture on the planet, because at the simplest level, every culture needs to keep order -- especially this kind: (James Burke displays a wedding ring.) This is one of those things in life we protect most against being changed when knowledge changes us. We protect it by turning it into a ritual. When we get married, or buried, get christened, or anything else too important to play by ear, the event is turned into a kind of play where everybody gets a role they act out. It's a kind of public agreement to stick to the general rules about whatever it is. The people doing it are effectively saying, "No matter what else may change, we won't rock the boat! We're not maverick. You can trust us." Expressions of approval follow. Most of these ritual ways of answering a social need that we got from the past look like it. They include something from an ancient rite -- in this case, the old symbol of fertility: the ring. And then, it's all done in the presence of a supernatural being: a God. So, the agreement is also made under what was once a real threat of heavenly retribution if you broke your promise later on. Some things, this ritual says, must be permanent.

„When we get married, or buried, get christened, or anything else too important to play by ear, the event is turned into a kind of play where everybody gets a role they act out. It's a kind of public agreement to stick to the general rules about whatever it is.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

The Day the Universe Changed (1985), 1 - The Way We Are
Kontext: The oldest answers to the most basic questions about how to operate are common to virtually every culture on the planet, because at the simplest level, every culture needs to keep order -- especially this kind: (James Burke displays a wedding ring.) This is one of those things in life we protect most against being changed when knowledge changes us. We protect it by turning it into a ritual. When we get married, or buried, get christened, or anything else too important to play by ear, the event is turned into a kind of play where everybody gets a role they act out. It's a kind of public agreement to stick to the general rules about whatever it is. The people doing it are effectively saying, "No matter what else may change, we won't rock the boat! We're not maverick. You can trust us." Expressions of approval follow. Most of these ritual ways of answering a social need that we got from the past look like it. They include something from an ancient rite -- in this case, the old symbol of fertility: the ring. And then, it's all done in the presence of a supernatural being: a God. So, the agreement is also made under what was once a real threat of heavenly retribution if you broke your promise later on. Some things, this ritual says, must be permanent.

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„And as it spreads, will it spread the ability to use machines, as we do, without understanding them?“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 1 - The Trigger Effect
Kontext: You see how increasingly the only way we in the advanced industrial nations, with our bewildering technology network, can survive, is by selling bewilderment and dependence on technology to the rest of the world. Or is it not bewilderment and dependence, but a healthier wealthier better way of living than the old way? And, yet, whether or not you dress up technology to look local, the technology network is the same. And as it spreads, will it spread the ability to use machines, as we do, without understanding them?

„I hope to show you that you or I could have done just what they did, or come close to it, because at no time did an invention come out of thin air into somebody's head,“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 1 - The Trigger Effect
Kontext: An invention acts rather like a trigger, because, once it's there, it changes the way things are, and that change stimulates the production of another invention, which in turn, causes change, and so on. Why those inventions happened, between 6,000 years ago and now, where they happened and when they happened, is a fascinating blend of accident, genius, craftsmanship, geography, religion, war, money, ambition... Above all, at some point, everybody is involved in the business of change, not just the so-called "great men." Given what they knew at the time, and a moderate amount of what's up here [pointing to head], I hope to show you that you or I could have done just what they did, or come close to it, because at no time did an invention come out of thin air into somebody's head, [snaps fingers] like that. You just had to put a number of bits and pieces, that were already there, together in the right way.

„Above all, at some point, everybody is involved in the business of change, not just the so-called "great men."“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 1 - The Trigger Effect
Kontext: An invention acts rather like a trigger, because, once it's there, it changes the way things are, and that change stimulates the production of another invention, which in turn, causes change, and so on. Why those inventions happened, between 6,000 years ago and now, where they happened and when they happened, is a fascinating blend of accident, genius, craftsmanship, geography, religion, war, money, ambition... Above all, at some point, everybody is involved in the business of change, not just the so-called "great men." Given what they knew at the time, and a moderate amount of what's up here [pointing to head], I hope to show you that you or I could have done just what they did, or come close to it, because at no time did an invention come out of thin air into somebody's head, [snaps fingers] like that. You just had to put a number of bits and pieces, that were already there, together in the right way.

„None of these guys did anything by themselves; they borrowed from other people's work.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

Connections (1979), 10 - Yesterday, Tomorrow and You
Kontext: The question is in what way are the triggers around us likely to operate to cause things to change -- for better or worse. And, is there anything we can learn from the way that happened before, so we can teach ourselves to look for and recognize the signs of change? The trouble is, that's not easy when you have been taught as I was, for example, that things in the past happened in straight-forward lines. I mean, take one oversimple example of what I'm talking about: the idea of putting the past into packaged units -- subjects, like agriculture. The minute you look at this apparently clear-cut view of things, you see the holes. I mean, look at the tractor. Oh sure, it worked in the fields, but is it a part of the history of agriculture or a dozen other things? The steam engine, the electric spark, petroleum development, rubber technology. It's a countrified car. And, the fertilizer that follows; it doesn't follow! That came from as much as anything else from a fellow trying to make artificial diamonds. And here's another old favorite: Eureka! Great Inventors You know, the lonely genius in the garage with a lightbulb that goes ping in his head. Well, if you've seen anything of this series, you'll know what a wrong approach to things that is. None of these guys did anything by themselves; they borrowed from other people's work. And how can you say when a golden age of anything started and stopped? The age of steam certainly wasn't started by James Watt; nor did the fellow whose engine he was trying to repair -- Newcomen, nor did his predecessor Savorey, nor did his predecessor Papert. And Papert was only doing what he was doing because they had trouble draining the mines. You see what I'm trying to say? This makes you think in straight lines. And if today doesn't happen in straight lines -- think of your own experience -- why should the past have? That's part of what this series has tried to show: that the past zig-zagged along -- just like the present does -- with nobody knowing what's coming next. Only we do it more complicatedly, and it's because our lives are that much more complex than theirs were that it's worth bothering about the past. Because if you don't know how you got somewhere, you don't know where you are. And we are at the end of a journey -- the journey from the past.

„If something becomes common enough to turn into a ritual, and then starts to involve really large numbers of people, that's when the ritual becomes something else.“

—  James Burke (science historian)

The Day the Universe Changed (1985), 1 - The Way We Are
Kontext: If something becomes common enough to turn into a ritual, and then starts to involve really large numbers of people, that's when the ritual becomes something else. It becomes widespread enough to affect the general agreement we all share. So, that's when the responsibility for running it goes out of your hands to be taken over by the institutions set up to run the rituals that matter on a regular basis, so that people can have clear rules and regulations to follow if they decide to get up to that particular ritual. The institutions take the admin out of daily life and run it for you: banking, government, sewage, tax collecting. Or, if you break the rules and regulations, one institution can take you out of daily life. This one: (James Burke displays a trial.) In every community, the law -- whether it's dressed up like this or the village elders telling you what the local custom is -- the law is all those rules I was on about earlier. I suppose what institutions like this do, most of all, is the dirty work. While they're putting them away here in the law court, for instance, that leaves us free to get on with making money, having a career, and avoiding the social responsibilities that these people have to deal with. And after a few centuries of this buck-passing, the institutions get big and powerful, and reach into everybody's lives so much they become hard to alter and virtually impossible to get rid of.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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