In-Depth

Burke's laws of innovation

Writer James Burke has studied how technologies gain traction. His bellwether 1978 TV show (and book), "Connections," takes one on a fantastic voyage that connects such diverse events as the birth of the Jacquard loom and the computer punch card. Here are some of Burke's rules of innovation.

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»Agents, et al
»Burke's laws
  • Innovation occurs as the result of deliberate attempts to develop it.
  • The attempt to find one thing leads to the discovery of another.
  • Unrelated developments have a decisive effect on the main event
  • Motives, such as war and religion, may also act as major stimulant to innovation.
  • Accident and unforeseen circumstances play a role innovation
  • Physical and climate conditions play their part. [To that we add economic conditions.]

Some links to related resources on emerging technologies

Grid
Dell Platform Computing
Entropia - PC Grid Computing
Grid Computing Planet Conference & Expo, Boston, MA 2002
IBM Life Sciences DiscoveryLink
Oxford University Computing Services

Rich GUIs
Altio Product Tour
Curl Corporation
Marcromedia application - FootJoy
Macromedia application - Build & Price Hummer H1

Agents
DocuComp document comparison
The Way Back Machine Internet Archive (To use comparator)
MIT Media Lab Software Agents
UMBC Agent Web -- news and information on software agent technology

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