From 1985, James Burke predicts the hyperconnected, super-relative world of right now. And reminds us to be optimistic
This video has been travelling round our circles on social media - it’s a clip from an old BBC broadcaster called James Burke, whose tv series on the interconnected nature of the modern world are increasingly regarded as prophetic of our current condition.
In the above clip, Burke astoundingly anticipates the relativism and post-truth of the internet era - a “managed anarchy” or “open society” where networking computers give everyone their voice… and their right to define reality (according to them or their group/bubble).
His 80s optimism at the end is charmingly optimistic, but perhaps worth holding on to:
[These computer networks may address] the greatest tragedy of our modern era: the centuries old waste of human talent that we wouldn’t or couldn’t use. Utopia? Why? If as I’ve said all along, the universe is what you say it is… then say.
[It also makes us think about the forecasting being currently articulated about the next 30 years that we should, perhaps, be paying more attention to. Example of that most welcome from you.]
Burke is also responsible for what is generally regarded as the best-timed piece to camera ever recorded. Below: