Question

Watch the episode of “Connections: Yesterday, Tomorrow, and You”, by James Burke.
Has the internet helped provide us with all the information that specialists now have, and do we understand all that we find on it?
How do we know what is reliable on the internet, without simply trusting the authority of our sources?
How easy is it to make predictions, and how or how not?
What sort of patterns does James Burke detect in the past that may be applied to the future in order to try to predict change, and why do these remain uncertain?
Is change linear, a simple cause and effect remaining within one discipline, such as agriculture, according to James Burke?
Despite the fact that James Burke rejects art and literature and philosophy as mere “interpretations” of the world, what role does he see for religion in innovation earlier in human history in the middle ages?
Is everything he says consistent with each other?   
Can discoveries by those who do not seem to be scientists or that seem useless at the time turn out to be useful, according to James Burke?

Solution Preview

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In the video, “Connections: Yesterday, Tomorrow, and You” by James Burke, Burke discusses several aspects of modern inventions and the history of advancements in technology. According to Burke, the factors for change are becoming increasingly theoretical through various mediums. For instance, Burke asserts that computers enable an individual to predict the future. Specifically, Burke discusses utilization of the internet. In applying Burke’s theories, the internet acts to provide increasingly technical information by countless groups of information that historically were only available to specialists or PhDs. Rather, utilizing the sources placed on the internet, specialists in an area are able to access vast resources and communicate with others more readily and timely. As such, while an individual might not understand what he finds on the internet, he has access to the information that he can at least begin to dissent or if need be, seek clarification or guidance....

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