Have you ever wondered where your industry got its start? Since a lot of us are in IT, I bet you're thinking WW2 and the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, Alan Turing and all the rest.

Would you be surprised if I told you it was the loom? Or even further back, the water wheel?

In the 1970's the BBC produced an absolutely brilliant documentary series call Connections, hosted by James Burke. It had a wonderful way of showing technology advancing, not by a solitary inventor, but by taking the work of someone else, often in a completely different field and applying it to the problem they were working on. It's absolutely mind blowing.

Fortunately the internet archive has all three series available to stream, for free. Each episode is about 45 minutes long. There's a lot of anachronisms, the World Trade Center towers make a frequent appearance, for those touched by the events of 9-11, be warned. But, if you have the time, I promise that it will not be wasted.

https://archive.org/details/ConnectionsByJamesBurke/Connections/

And if you want to see the origin of IT.

https://archive.org/details/ConnectionsByJamesBurke/Connections/Season+1/Connections+S01E04+-+Faith+in+Numbers.mp4

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Thank you for that - I'll definitely be checking it out!

I seem capable of running out of worthwhile streaming content despite its seeming endlessness....
Right, the punch cards for patterns in the loom. I had forgotten that, thank you!

We saw a punch card loom in ... the Smithsonian, I think.