The Knowledge Web
From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back -- and Other Journeys Through Knowledge
By (author) James Burke
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Knowledge Web by James Burke
Book DescriptionWhat do the Hubble Telescope, Buffalo Bill, and the Spanish Inquisition have in common, and how is the answer found in a certain fast food chain? How do margarine's strange origins tie in to plankton shells, receding stars, hot chocolate, and the first solo Atlantic flight? Continuing the fascinating journey he began in THE PINBALL EFFECT, James Burke shows how seemingly unrelated ideas and innovations bounce off each other, spinning a vast web of knowledge. Burke explains how the Internet is responsible for bringing these connections to light and claims this new awareness of our interdependence, with each other and with the past, will change our lives. Taking Burke's webbed approach to knowledge is one way that we can manage our information overload as we approach the ever-more-complex world that awaits us in the Twenty-First Century. Only by understanding the interrelated nature of the modern world can we hope to identify complex patterns of change and direct the process of innovation to the common good.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780684859354
(214mm x 139mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author James Burke
Personal Insolvency Law, Paperback (January 2012)
Irish law. Areas covered in the book include: EU position and Insolvency Regulations, process of bankruptcy, UK versus Irish systems, creditor's position, practical implications, interaction with family law proceedings and alternatives to bankruptcy.
American Connections, Paperback (July 2007)
As an acclaimed history expert and bestselling author of "Connections," Burke employs his trademark style to reveal unlikely coincidences surrounding the signers of the Declaration of Independence and modern day America.
Twin Tracks, Paperback (September 2005)
A collection of narratives considers the nature of change, the qualities of the divine, and the origins of contemporary civilization, citing how divergent paths stemming from specific historical events subsequently converged in the modern world.
Circles, Paperback (September 2003)» View all books by James Burke
Burke takes readers on 50 surprising journeys through the history of technology, each following a chain of consequential events that ends precisely where it began.
US Kirkus Review » Back playing his theme music - "the process by which new ideas emerge is serendipitous and interactive" - is the hugely entertaining Burke (The Pinball Effect, 1996, etc.). He's off on another of his joyrides, following the often bizarre pathways that lead from one idea to another, following like a bloodhound the threads that link events and notions and personalities. And he doesn't just list the things passing strange before his purview, he stops to examine them and deliver a smart little explication. He's not just amused to learn that the Magnetico-Electrico Celestial Bed, wherein the administrations of shocks to the participants was said to "ensure immediate conception," can be found on the road to the cornflake, he wants readers to know why. And it's pure pleasure to read as he unravels the skein knotting the pugnacious father of cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, to the equally pugnacious antivivisectionists, and "a thirty-three-year-old married Englishwoman with a hidden past and the habit of wearing no underwear" to, 211 pages later, the Elgin marbles. Burke again makes use of "gateways" in his narrative, a system of numeric codes that link distant strands within the text into a literary subspace, allowing readers to skip about throughout the book, as if Burke's caperings aren't entertainment enough, though it does drive home why Burke is so pleased that the word "web" has gained such currency. There are vague rumblings at the beginning of this book about a new system of knowledge gathering, sowing democracy and enfranchising the uneducated in its wake, that Burke will introduce, in which semi-intelligent computer software helps weed through the information glut unleashed by the Internet. That would suggest undermining the very serendipity and interactivity that enthralls him so, and he wisely doesn't mention it again after the introduction. Burke is in a league alone when it comes to freewheeling intellectual curiosity and mapping nature's strange designs. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - James Burke
James Burke is the bestselling author of CONNECTIONS, THE DAY THE UNIVERSE CHANGED and THE PINBALL EFFECT, all published by Little Brown.
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