Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ramblings on Connections

While surfing around on the internet this morning I landed on something I thought was interesting and was considering mentioning it on my blog or on Facebook when it occurred to me that perhaps the more interesting story was how I came to be reading the particular story in the first place. This in turn reminded me of one of my favorite series from the late 70 early 80; Connections, the BBC series hosted by James Burke and shown on PBS.   The series was fascinating because it took the unusual approach of showing history in cross section, like a cut-away diagram of a complex machine, and showed viewers all the interesting tidbits that preceded and ultimately led to an important historical event.

Of course, I'm not comparing my link discovery to an important historic event.  I mention the show because it exemplifies how the back-story and some seemingly innocuous events can all lead up to something unexpected.

My personal connection story went like this:  As I sat down this morning to do some work I stopped to put on some music.  I did not feel like listening to my own music collection so I  went to Last.FM and searched for 'Noise Jazz' (I'm really quite fond of experimental and avant-garde music ).

The search turned up a few Zappa links and one from a Swedish punk band called The (International) Noise Conspiracy (never had heard of them either).  I started listening to one of their songs 'Capitalism Stole My Virginity' and, though it was not what I looking for, I was curious enough about the band that I found and read their Wikipedia profile. 

In the article it mentions that the band has a strong 'Situationist' agenda.  I had no idea what a Situationist was so I followed the link and found the this: Situationist International, about a group of mostly European Marxist revolutionaries from the 60s.

It was at this point that the whole idea about connections struck me; I had gone looking for music and ended up reading about Marxist revolutionaries.  That's kind of cool.

I checked but there's no Firefox browser add-on that would allow me to collect and organize a surfing history.  I guess I've either discovered an interesting new opportunity or it's an idea that would only appeal to an information geek like myself. 

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