The existing order of things and how we got here
The title of this show is a reference to the philosophical idea that the universe only exists as we perceive it through the lens of our own knowledge and experience. If we enhance our knowledge through learning and experience, we essentially change the universe itself.
James Burke has a very relaxed style that conveys expertise without being authoritarian or condescending. He covers a variety of interrelated topics in great depth and detail without allowing the content to become overbearing or overwhelming.
The series was fascinating in its range of topics and helped me to understand more about the world we live in and how we arrived at this vantage point in time. Exploring and understanding more about past discoveries and inventions has merit for everyone.
“Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group… If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth”
— Carl Sagan
“Maybe a good start would be to recognize within yourself the ability to understand anything, as long as it’s explained clearly enough. And then go and ask for explanations. And if you’re thinking ‘Well what do I ask for?’ ask yourself if there’s anything in your life you want changed. That’s where to start.”
— James Burke
“It was by common consent one of the greatest events in the history of the world, opening up the West and East for the first time; an extraordinary tale of bravery and cruelty, endurance and excess, chivalry and greed; a journey of ten years and 22,000 miles all told, enough to circle the globe.
Behind it, like the wrack of a receding tide, it has left strange and glittering debris: lost cities, blue-eyed Indians, exotic treasures, ancient manuscripts, and a great harvest of amazing stories, songs, poems, myths and legends.”
— Michael Wood