James Burke Connections App
James Burke is renowned for his ability to find intriguing connections among ideas. With this app, you too can think like James.
Have you ever wondered what celebrities, athletes, rock stars, pop stars, authors, events, or ideas you might be connected to?
Discover your connections with the James Burke Connections App.*
About James Burke
James Burke has been referred to as one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world. (Washington Post, 1994). The hallmark of his thinking style is to identify the connections among seemingly unrelated events. Using a network of links and nodes and highlighting the inter-connections among them, James' unique gift is the ability to see relations among people and ideas where others have not.
He has created dozens of books, articles, and television series around the notion that, as he says so famously, Everything is connected to everything else, including you too of course.
Check out the recent David McRaney article and interview about James and the App at https://boingboing.net/2016/11/17/james-burkes-new-project-ai.html
Hear the Dan Carlin interview with James and the App at http://www.dancarlin.com/common-sense-home-landing-page/
You can receive access to the App, James' books or DVDs, and get a personal thank you from James by contributing to the campaign. Please see the Rewards section.
If you have never heard of James or would like a review, click here to check out examples of his work.
About the Connections App
His thinking is, in so many words: Creative. Innovative. Insightful. Unexpected. Delightful. And with the James Burke Connections app, you can put the power of connected thinking to work for you.
How does the James Burke Connections app work? The app combines the unexpected connections of the K-Web with the rich and extensive content housed in Wikipedia to create a new type of knowledge tool.
With the App, you can Explore, Discover, and Present new ideas, connections, and knowledge in ways never before possible.
See the current Connections app prototype! You can also see future design plans in the video below.
For a deeper look at James' unexpected connections, see the K-web overview below.
Supporting Wikipedia and Education
Once the Connections app is live, a portion of the net revenue generated by app sales will be donated to Wikipedia on an annual basis. James himself asks that he receive no compensation in relation to this project/product. Instead, he asks that any such revenue be directed to the non-profit James Burke Institute to support the use of the App in education. If you have interest in using the Connections app for educational purposes as part of a systematic program, please contact us with Educational Use in the Subject line.
*This opening was suggested by Dr. Ingram's Student Team 3 (Lexi Kozlowski, Shannon Evans, Seth Yale, Olivia Gaber).
Risks and challenges
The biggest concern we had starting out is the technical feasibility of making the app work within acceptable parameters (eg, latency pulling and processing Wikipedia info). Our early prototypes have shown that this is not an issue. See the current prototype at the link above.
A second concern has to do with the thinking that the information in Wikipedia is less accurate and reliable than information gleaned from other sources. In comparison studies, Wikipedia has generally fared as well or better than other traditional non-primary sources. Clearly, Wikipedia is a valuable resource for a first-level examination of content, as well as for webbing interconnections of content, such as involved in the JB Connections App. For an extended discussion of this issue, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia.
Another issue is the familiarity of James Burke and his work. This is important for getting the word out to potential backers. We think people who know James and his work will be very receptive to the app. However, 10 years ago, James commented that "people under 50 have never heard of me and people over 50 think I'm dead." The JB Connections App dev team consists of rabid Burke fans (some actually young), but we are not sure to what degree this fandom extends to others. Who knows, maybe the App will introduce and energize a whole new Burke audience. We ask that all Burke fans solicit the support of their friends and colleagues to make the App happen.
A fourth area is the degree to which supporters will volunteer to edit Wikipedia in order to put the corresponding Burke K-web links in the Wikipedia articles. For fans familiar with Burke's Magical Mystery Tours, for example, the editing would take maybe 5 minutes. So again, we ask for Burke fans old and new to help us out in editing the links. Without the unexpected Burke links, the App still functions as a very useful graphic interface to Wikipedia and a unique tool for knowledge creation. However, it is really the Burke links that make the magic happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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