The Link Review (TV Series)

The Link review which discusses the positives and negatives of this new National Geographic show. For those who could not be bothered reading, the show is good though you have to be a bit of a nerd to enjoy it but then again if you are watching National Geographic channel you probably are.

The Link Nat Geo

Positives

The great thing about this show is that it illustrates how the precise direction research may lead is very difficult to ascertain. There is a common trend in funding for universities and colleges wherein funding is directed to things that are perceived as immediately practically useful. In contrast, the truth with innovation historically is that the solution to problems often comes from unexpected areas. In the first episode of the show this is demonstrated by showing how bronze swords in China lead to Pasteurization and then to Rockets and subsequently Space Flight. The show really is just a great idea and it is suprising it has taken this long for some to create it.

Negatives

One of the issues of the show is that it may be missing some of the arts and humanities influences on inventions. While this is partially because the full cultural origins of inventions cannot be shown for pragmatic and time based reasons, it is also may be because of a modern bias against these disciplines. As the series is quite new this is as yet uncertain, but if there is a an episode on computers and Philosophers like Aristotle and Leibniz are not included it will be a clearer display of bias. This bias is likely  due to general bias in the Sciences and Engineering disciplines whereby anyone who is not a Scientist or Engineer immediately and mysteriously becomes one whenever they influence said disciplines or is otherwise forgotten. That is to say that Immanuel Kant is referred to as a scientist based on his Nebular Hypothesis and its influence on Cosmology, but the truth is that it is hard to really imagine a philosopher who was less scientific given that the core of Kant’s Idealism is that reality is uncertain and so only will is particularly important. To add further, Leibniz is never on the Google logos.

Overall

The show is a great idea and one that was a long time coming. It shows the strange way progress really works.

Reference:

Image by Pete Chinn, taken from - http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/the-link/

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