James burke tries to show social connections; jacob bronowski says a lot how evolution of the last tent thousand years has been more due to social stimulous than biological. And yet, the original stimulous for mankind may have been more biological or more geological(even astronomical); or, was it?
What started me on these thoughts/question has been an effor to find more James Burkian connections; i've mentioned before how things like science and auto racing lead to spinoff technologies/james burkian connnections. Well, one thought of mine has been how the implications of our scientific knowledge has allowed us the possibility(not always taken advantage of by our leaders) to predict nature - weather, space weather, asteroids, maybe in the future supernova, earthquakes, volcanoes,
Mankind is defined and distinguished from the other life of the Earth by it's dependence on science and technology. This certainly started occuring four, now maybe five if not more, million years ago. Still, one would think the reasons for any Australopithacine or Erectus to move from one place to another was environmental - drought, cold. Well, maybe Homo Erectus did originaly migrate to Europe and Asia were environment; but, they quickly tamed fire and probably did things because of it(for instance the cave paintings almost certainly were not possible without the use of fire).
I bring this up because Jacob Bronowski remarks i'm thinking in the second episode of his "Ascent of Man" how approximatelly ten thousand years ago, change in human life was almost always predominantly due to cultural forces, and that James Burke's "Connections" and "The Day the Universe Changes" almost exclusivelly deals with cultural influences for change and the connections between everything. And yet, a major reason for doing any science and making any technology is to deal with nature and the problems it sometimes presents(like too hot or too cold, or a volcanic eruption, earthquakes and hurricanes).
A little while ago, I noted that around the end of world war 2, science and technology funding became much more established amongst all countries in the world. Science and technology still struggles here and there from those who are not scientifically inclined or spirited, but for the most part, they have a lot harder time argueing against the necessity for funding and exploring the universe. I noted how science often times since world war 2 makes the excuse of 'spin-off' technologies. I was looking for more James Burkian 'connections.' Well, I've found that the connections have also come full circle from cultural reasons to dealing with nature - earthquake, volcano, and hurricane prediction; also solar storms, asteroid detection and hopefully the eventual means of deflection. Viruses can only be delt with officially with a mature nanotechnology which we're getting pretty close to doing.
With these connections between almost all the human condition, I thought I'd leave you with another Arthur C Clarke mysterious world episode!