Few can cast a cynical eye upon history and society quite like the Brits. From the Angry Young Men to Monty Python, the Clash to New Order—fatalism and futility were never so well-appointed. Perhaps it’s the gloomy pragmatism of the post-Imperial British imagination, which documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis taps into with a particularly wry eye for the unintended consequences of utopian political ideas about science, math and technology on both the right and left in his new series All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. Truly, this series is a post-modern Animal Farm told with bewildering leaps of historical imagination not seen since James Burke’s amazing BBC series Connections. Of course, we had to share it with you, particularly since it includes a particularly unflattering portrait of power as it pertains to the Buckminster Fuller-inspired hippy communes like Drop City in Trinidad, which we featured two weeks ago HERE, in Episode 2. Most amazingly, these three episodes manage to be polemical without taking political sides. We definitely recommend his other documentaries as well, and there’s also a great interview with Adam Curtis about the series HERE.

 

2 Responses to OK, Computer?

  1. Mary H says:

    Weird & funny, but so long, I may never watch it all…
    I’ll bet it took a long time to produce as well.

  2. Kron Kite says:

    Monolithic systems of politics, science, economics, etc. are always imperfect descriptors of a world in flux. The people who sell the system du jour to the masses are the ones who profit by it. Even in the sciences there is not 100% objectivity, but ALWAYS a bias, a motive, an agenda. Why? Because scientific research costs tons of $$$, and today our universities are funded in large part by the Pentagon and corporations. Of course, they will get the “answers” they pay for. And everyone will call it the Truth because science can’t be wrong. But as perceptive people notice more and more each day: the establishment elites in politics, business, and academia get it WRONG much of the time. The result? War, impoverishment, environmental destruction. Buy products you don’t need. Take drugs that kill you. Vote for candidate X in a One Party system. Pursue target goals at work. Trust the god inside the computer. And know that Rich Uncle Pennybags loves you.

News

March 28, 2015 | KQED · More than 200 birds died earlier this year. Now, scientists and federal agencies are running forensic tests and looking for clues to the goo as part of a national investigation.
 

March 28, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Arun Rath speaks with correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who’s been at a polling station in the capital, Abuja, where they’re counting votes.
 

March 28, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Arun Rath talks with Wired.com’s Davey Alba about the outcome of the landmark gender discrimination case against a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
March 28, 2015 | NPR · Kirstin Valdez Quade’s debut book of short fiction is inspired by her family and its long history in the “romanticized” region of northern New Mexico.
 

March 28, 2015 | NPR · Yale computer scientist David Gelernter talks with NPR’s Arun Rath about using computers and the Internet to teach young people to appreciate the beauty of what he calls “serious music.”
 

AP
March 28, 2015 | NPR · The final season of Mad Men is about to begin, so we’ve decided to ask the show’s creator about men who are glad rather than mad — success coaches, motivational speakers and happiness gurus.
 

Music

March 28, 2015 | NPR · Yale computer scientist David Gelernter talks with NPR’s Arun Rath about using computers and the Internet to teach young people to appreciate the beauty of what he calls “serious music.”
 

March 28, 2015 | NPR · Missy Mazzoli and a host of collaborators — including Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche — use a Christian sunset service as a frame for meditation on modern life.
 

NPR
March 28, 2015 | NPR · The a cappella quartet, known for luminous interpretations of medieval pieces, teams up with folk musician Bruce Molsky in music from more modern times — popular songs from the Civil War era.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab