Friday, July 4, 2008

TDTUC: The Way We Are (Part 1)

The Day the Universe Changed (TDTUC) is a British documentary television series produced by and starring science historian James Burke, originally broadcast in 1985. A companion book of the same title, also written by Burke, was published the same year, presenting the same general premise of the television series in expanded detail (highly recommended, btw).

The series’ primary focus is on the effect of advances in science and technology on western philosophy. The title comes from the philosophical idea that the universe essentially only exists as you perceive it; therefore, if you change your perception of the universe, you have changed the universe itself.

To illustrate this idea, much as he did in his previous series Connections, Burke tells the various stories tracing the development of important scientific discoveries and technological advances and how they fundamentally altered how western civilization perceives the world. The series runs in roughly chronological order, from around the beginning of the Middle Ages to the present.