Both the beginning and the end of the story are here. The end is our present dependence on complex technological networks illustrated by the NYC power blackouts. Life came almost to a standstill: support systems taken for granted failed. How did we become so helpless? Technology originated with the plow and agriculture. Each invention demands its own follow-up: once started, it is hard to stop. This segment ends in Kuwait, where society has leapt from ancient Egypt to the technology of today in 30 years. James Burke postulates that major technological changes occur in response to "triggers", some that are seemingly unrelated. A change in any system, whether mechanical, electrical or economic, triggers other changes. And so the connections begin.
Sep 17, 2005, 22:09:21
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