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

AFP/Getty Images
June 25, 2016 | NPR · After the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, Trump spoke on the move at his remodeled Scottish golf course. Clinton used those remarks as fodder for a message her campaign has been pushing hard.
 

Getty Images
June 25, 2016 | NPR · Scientists say they’ve figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
 

AFP/Getty Images
June 25, 2016 | NPR · His characterization of the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians is likely to cause tensions with Turkey. He was not expected to use the term but then ad-libbed it into his prepared remarks.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
June 25, 2016 | NPR · Scientists say they’ve figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
 

Getty Images
June 25, 2016 | NPR · In the 1990s, the Portland Trail Blazers were one of the most dominant teams in the NBA. We’ve invited one of the team’s stars to answer three questions about people who’ve blazed their own trails.
 

HBO
June 25, 2016 | FA · Hale talks about playing “anxious characters” on Arrested Development and Veep. Sarah Hepola had to rethink her sex life after she quit drinking. Jonathan Balcombe discusses the inner lives of fish.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
June 25, 2016 | NPR · You might remember the hair band Winger and its MTV hit “Seventeen.” The band’s namesake, bassist Kip Winger, has another side: classical composer.
 

June 25, 2016 | NPR · “French Fries and Champagne” is The Hot Sardines’ new album. Singer Elizabeth Bougerol and band leader Evan Palazzo tell NPR’s Scott Simon Craigslist helped them turn their hobby into a music career.
 

AFP/Getty Images
June 24, 2016 | WXPN · The genre-defining singer joined World Cafe in 2002 for a career-spanning conversation.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab