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

AP
October 22, 2014 | NPR · State and local health officials will begin monitoring all passengers entering the U.S. from countries hard hit from Ebola. The monitoring will last for 21 days.
 

AP
October 22, 2014 | NPR · A month after a man armed with a knife leapt the White House fence and got deep into the first floor of the building, another man made a run across the north lawn Wednesday night.
 

AP
October 22, 2014 | NPR · The St. Louis Post-Disptatch has obtained an autopsy report on the shooting of Michael Brown. It leaves a lot of questions about the shooting of the 18-year-old by Officer Darren Wilson.
 

Arts & Life

Luma Bites
October 22, 2014 | NPR · Two entrepreneurs have developed new tricks to make food that’s literally illuminating, using ingredients that are as natural and unprocessed as possible. It’s just basic food chemistry, folks.
 

October 22, 2014 | NPR · When Gerard Russell was a diplomat in the Middle East, he met followers of ancient religions facing extinction. His new book includes the origins of the Yazidis, who are fleeing the Islamic State.
 

October 22, 2014 | NPR · Atavist Books launched with aims of upending the print-first publishing model. Now it’s announcing its plans to close. Meanwhile, partnerships between public libraries and airports are taking off.
 

Music

October 22, 2014 | NPR · Steven Ellison has built an impressive reputation among critics and fans in the know for mixing hip hop, jazz and electronica into something original. But even for the aforementioned followers, the new album from Ellison — better-known as Flying Lotus — is a surprise. It’s all about death, not as something to be mourned but as a journey to be anticipated.
 

Mountain Stage
October 22, 2014 | NPR · The West Virginia natives, both widely respected in the world of string-band music, perform live.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 22, 2014 | WXPN · The rootsy folk-rock band formed after its singer heard a harpist through his apartment wall.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab