The New York Times published a wonderful review of How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson’s book of the same name as the PBS show that aired in Autumn 2014.
By the time you reach the end of Steven Johnson’s latest book on innovation, you’re apt to find yourself exhilarated and a little bit fatigued. It’s a case of literary jet lag. You’ve been with Johnson to secret chambers within the pyramids of Giza and foul trenches in the sewers of old Chicago; you’ve looked through telescopes on Mauna Kea and peered into microscopes with 19th-century bacteriologists. You’ve had to move around space and time to do this, but more crucially, you’ve had to wander back and forth through passageways that connect technological history with politics, economics and culture. Have you ever wondered why flash photography led to antipoverty programs at the turn of the 20th century? Or how the invention of the laser contributed to the decline of mom-and-pop stores? Of course you haven’t, because you didn’t really stop to think — wait, check that; I didn’t really stop to think — how the invention of flash photography finally allowed Jacob Riis to capture the images of dismal tenement life on New York’s Lower East Side that he had already been writing about, with little impact, for years. Or how the laser begat the bar code that, in turn, gave an efficiency advantage to stores like Target and Walmart. “How We Got to Now” is full of nifty connections like these — stories that illustrate obscure chains of causality that shaped the modern world. We’ve gone from making cave paintings to using slender slabs of powerful technology like the iPhone 6. But it’s hardly been a linear path. Johnson shows the meandering process by which we’ve made this journey, and what sort of cultural waves ripple outward as we move ahead.
To read the full article click here http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/books/review/how-we-got-to-now-by-steven-johnson.html?referrer=&_r=1
New Travel Channel Series starts 4th Sunday January 2015 with 2 episodes!
In Travel Channel’s new series Metropolis, each stunning episode explores 1 important world city, uncovering rich historical secrets behind its extraordinary location, timeless architecture and magnetic culture.
Episode 1: Manhattan, 9pm EST
Episode 2: San Francisco, 10pm EST
The Wall Street Journal has announced its top ten shows for Fall 2014 and How We Got To Now with Steven Johnson is one of only three non-fiction shows to appear.
Other shows included The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, BBC’s The Missing and Transparent.
Former C4 commissioner joins Nutopia
Jane Root’s indie Nutopia has hired former Channel 4 commissioner Katie Boyd as it prepares for a push into features and formats.
The production company, which has offices in the UK and US, has named Boyd as executive producer. She has been hired following a short stint at London Live, which she joined in June before the local TV broadcaster rowed back on its original entertainment commissioning.
Boyd joined C4 in 2010 from Endemol and went on to order series including Mr Drew’s School for Boys, Superscrimpers and Sarah Beeny-fronted Double Your House For Half Your Money.
At Nutopia, she will be responsible for beefing up its features and formats slate as it bids to secure more returning series, following shows such as its pregnancy doc for Sky Living, She’s Having A Baby
Boyd said that it was a “great privilege” to join Nutopia and work for the “prestigious” Root.
Separately, the indie has hired Simon Willgoss as head of development.
Willgoss has previously worked with Nutopia on series including Sky Atlantic’s The British for and Nat Geo’s The 80s: The Decade That Made Us. He was most recently head of development at Dreamboys producer CB Films.
He will work alongside Lee McNulty, who has been promoted from deputy head of development to in-house producer.
McNulty has previously worked on series including Mankind: The Story of All of Us as well as Wall to Wall’s Who Do You Think You Are? and Love Productions’ The Great British Bake Off.
Root said Nutopia had a raft of new shows due to air over the next 12 months.
“It’s great to have such a talented team in place, who I know will bring fantastic ideas and experience to Nutopia, I am looking forward to be working with them all,” she said.
On the eve of the premiere of How We Got To Now on PBS The New York Times have reviewed the series,
“It’s an exceedingly watchable history lesson, and all in support of his central thesis, which he articulates in “Cold” thus: “We make our ideas, and they make us in return.”
How We Got To Now airs tonight at 9pm & 10pm EST on PBS
From Steven Johnson, the best-selling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, comes How We Got to Now,the companion book to his six-part TV series, which tracks the surprising inspirations and unexpected consequences of the most influential innovations.
Nutopia are very excited to announce that Allyson Mandelbaum has joined the company as Director of US Development. Allyson will be based in New York and will work closely with Jane Root on developing US mega-docs and returnable series.