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“Twenty-first-century petabyte laptops and virtually free access to the Internet may bring destablizing effects of information overload that will operate on a scale…well beyond anything that has happened before.” Not scary enough? “In the near future [semi-intelligent robotic] agents will organize and conduct almost every aspect of the individual’s life.” So claims James Burke, the affable host of the PBS series Connections, in his new book, The Knowledge Web: From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back—And Other Journeys Through Knowledge. Burke has now turned his incisive view of the past toward Tomorrowland, and the connections Burke finds between seemingly unrelated events and inventions are now reframed as a “web.” He’s even organized his book by hyperlinks, with coded footnotes standing in for HTML. The gimmick is more disorienting than enlightening, but read the old-fashioned way, Burke’s style is as captivating as it was a distant 20 years ago. Connect with the author at 8 p.m. at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th & Constitution Ave. NW. $15. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Dave Nuttycombe)