Get Connections PDF

By James Burke

ISBN-10: 0743299558

ISBN-13: 9780743299558

How did the recognition of undies within the 12th century result in the discovery of the printing press?
How did the waterwheel evolve into the computer?
How did the coming of the cannon lead ultimately to the improvement of movies?

In this hugely acclaimed and bestselling booklet, James Burke brilliantly examines the guidelines, innovations, and coincidences that experience culminated within the significant technological advances of this day. With astonishing perception, he untangles the development of interconnecting occasions: the injuries of time, condition, and position that gave upward thrust to the foremost innovations of the world.

Says Burke, "My objective is to acquaint the reader with a number of the forces that experience prompted swap some time past, having a look particularly at 8 strategies -- the pc, the creation line, telecommunications, the plane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and tv -- that may be so much influential in structuring our personal futures....Each this sort of is a part of a kin of comparable units, and is the results of a series of heavily attached occasions extending from the traditional international till the current day. each one has huge, immense strength for humankind's profit -- or destruction."

Based on a favored television documentary sequence, Connections is an interesting medical detective tale of the innovations that modified heritage -- and the brilliant hyperlinks that attach them.

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Example text

For while the Phallus is essentially social, the anus is essentially private ; and for the organisation of society around the great phallic signifier to be possible, the anus must be privatised. Hocquenghem quotes Deleuze and Guattari, to the effect that the anus was the first organ to be privatised, and Freud, who sees the anal stage as the stage of the formation the self. The result is that the "anus is over-invested individually because its investment is withdrawn socially" . Homosexuality, Hocquenghem argues, chiefly means anal homosexuality, sodomy.

But though the concerns have been similar, the intellectual traditions through which they have been expressed have discrete origins. We have already noted the common anti-psychiatry trends in 41 the work of Deleuze and Guattari on the one hand, and Laing and Cooper on the other, and their specific concern with schizo­ phrenia. Juliet Mitchell has usefully summed up the relevance of this in England : "Laing's early analyses of schizophrenia as a disturbance induced by immediate interaction within the family helped to introduce a new phase of radical humanism to which the women's movement is heir.

Though cogently argued, a number of doubts must arise, not so much about the descriptive elements (which empirical work on attitudes to homosexuality tend to validate) as about the theoreti­ cal argument. Three specific questions need to be more fully confronted. Firstly, there is the whole question of homosexual "paranoia". 11 But the idea that repression of homosexuals in modern society is a product of repressed homosexuality comes too close to the hydraulic theory of sexuality (the notion that there is a fixed amount of energy which sublimation re-distributes) which the Lacanian recovery of Freud sought to undermine.

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Connections by James Burke

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