How We Got to Now

Learn about the remarkable ideas that made modern life possible.


  • Cold

    Host Steven Johnson examines the effects of man’s mastery of cold on food and Hollywood.
  • Light

    Uncover a link between gas lamps, electric light and architecture and advertising.
  • Glass

    Uncover a link between art, science and global communication: glass.
  • Time

    How time advanced navigation, technology, travel and the way we work.
  • Clean

    How clean water has changed our world and the way we live our lives.

About How We Got to Now

How We Got To Now with Steven Johnson is a six part documentary series that reveals the story behind the remarkable ideas that made modern life possible; the unsung heroes that brought them into the world, and the unexpected and bizarre consequences each of these innovations has triggered.