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Old 06-13-2011, 11:15 PM
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Default all watched over by machines of loving grace - Adam Curtis

Has anyone watched this? I'd like your opinions.
It is a BBC movie in three parts by Adam Curtis ("the trap") and it is a wild collage of archive images mixed with a narrative about out society (as always with Adam Curtis).
this time he deals with how machines, specifically computers, took over our lives.

I found it in parts interesting, very true and agreeable, but in other parts also quite disturning, especially in part 2 of the series.

Here is a link YouTube - ‪Adam Curtis - All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - Ep 1/3 - Love and Power (23/5/11) (2/5)‬‏ (follow youtube from that or pick a different choice of source) - and this is part 2: YouTube - ‪All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (Ep. 2) - Full‬‏

I'll not spoiler it, but I'd like to discuss the contents if some have seen it...
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:20 PM
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Ok, so no one interested?
Here are updated links:
Part 1: YouTube - ‪All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (Ep. 1) - Full‬‏
Part 2: YouTube - ‪All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (Ep. 2) - Full‬‏
Part 3: YouTube - ‪All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (Ep. 3) - Full‬‏

To spoiler a bit into ti, the three parts deal about topics how too much individualism is bad for us, how the idea of the balanced ecosystem is not true, how the idea that humans are genetic machines came up, why communes and a certain type of nonhierarchical organization does not work, how a lot of our ideas about society and nature are coming from cybernetcs and thus from the science of machines. It also hints to the reasons why revolutions fail, why there will be no internet-democracy that gets rid of all the troubles in the world and how the idea of humans being just a part of nature can be misinterpreted by some to excuse inactivity and believe in the inability to change. It is about how we as people became entangles in "the system" and why there may not be a "system" at all and how we compare the systems of computers, the internet, human societies and the natural world.

It is a very intense series I think and VERY worth watching, but one has to let it settle for a while, maybe watch it a second time (especially the part 2) and think about what Curtis is REALLY saying as opposed to what would be the first reaction to the movie. If one does that, interesting aspects are opened up.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:16 PM
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I will definitely make a point to see them over the weekend.
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:54 AM
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Yes, we know you fear our machine overlords.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:32 AM
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Machines are the best!
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:15 PM
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Despite the title of the movie, the content may surprise you. Yes it is not exactly "pro machines", but it also has lines in it like "there are no balanced ecosystems" and basically he opposes things like the gaia theory and others, things that I obviously do like. So this is why I think these are interesting three parts as probably most of us debating here regularly will find things that they like and things that attack their world view.
So this is not a "propaganda film" for my view by far.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:43 PM
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Saying it opposed individuality did enough for me...
As for revolutions failing, it seems he has already been proved hugely wrong there to the point that my initial impression is that he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. Successful revolutions have always been ones that were coordinated and informed, and not just in the last year, but all throughout history.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:33 PM
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The Youtube videos won't load for me Will keep trying.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:14 AM
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@HNM - What is curious, and I think this is interesting as it gets one thinking , is that he does not only go up against an overemphasized individualism, it also goes up against the overemphasized communalism when he looks at the communes of the 1970ies that have failed. In terms of revolutions, he does not look at anything of this year, the movie was made in 2010. The ongoing revolutions in the middle east can not yet have part in any of this discussion as they are not over yet and it remains to be seen what will come out of it. So his analysis of revolutions is not about if it is possible to incite a revolution, to do a revolution and overthrow the government. That one works. BUT he looks at what are the long term results, as this is what determines if the revolution is a success. And there he concludes that there are some revolutions that were too much focussed on toppling over the existing regime but had not enough vision of what comes afterwards, so it ended up in a wrong direction. He cites a couple of examples in which the result was worse than the original state due to corruption or some people using the momentum of the revolution to create what they want instead of what all want.

I want to make clear, that I am very critical about the series, too - I do not say that this is a movie that supports what I think, but I find it - and Adam Curtis in General - interesting and conclusive enough to think of it anyways, as it actually challenges some of the assumptions and conclusions I made before. I think it is not a bad thing if these are challenged and one has to take the effort of rethinking some of the things.
This is why i suggest this here, as it potentially challenges these assumptions and premises in many of us, while it also will have elements that challenges the ways to think about the world that we ascribe to others here. (eg it challenges extreme individualism but also the back-to-the-land movement and communes, it challenges the neoliberalist idea of freedom but also the gaia theory and ecosystems)

@Moco - I am sure you are internet literate enough to find a version that works for you - yarr
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Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:46 PM
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A revolution being too focused on the past and not having their own vision for what comes next is the main issue, I would agree. Ones that were not just successful but remembered as such in the long term all avoided that problem in various ways. It definitely remains to be seen which way they will go, but countries change and governments collapse all the time due to bad planning, which has nothing to do with any failure of a revolution.
If it criticises communism as well as being opposed to individuality, that's more interesting than I gave it credit for, if it criticises both something and its complete antithesis - of course, those such points usually end up never providing any idea of their own.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:33 PM
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The thing about the revolutions was merely one part of the topic. And yes, you are right in that he does not push forth his own ideas or ideology in a clear way or even tries to "prove" it. I think he kind of tries in this expermental movies to show what is and leave the viewer to draw own conclusions, which is why I thought this would be a nice one to debate about. Unlike other movies, it is not so much targeted to people who already know something - it is not preaching to the faithful, but it is controversial and I would have thought that a debate on the aspects it shows would be interesting, given that many of us would share some of his points. So I'd like this to be on topic and to be a thread about the content of the movies and not so much about whether or not it is worth watching it.
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Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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