All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I can’t say that I agree with all of the conclusions in this series but the perspectives are very interesting food for thought. The Silicon Valley idea of technology holding some intrinsic automatic redeeming value for humans is something that is arguably destructive for society. The outright commodification of human emotion and the mediation of human communication through social media giants is not by default great for society as the technology utopians would have us believe. Also, whether or not technology actually levels the playing field is highly debatable. Love and Power truly are never going away and can never be controlled whether by elite individuals or large groups of every day utopians. Nevertheless this is part of the human drama that many seem to need and that some endlessly crave.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a 2011 BBC documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. The series argues that computers have failed to liberate humanity and instead have “distorted and simplified our view of the world around us”. The title is taken from the 1967 poem of the same name by Richard Brautigan. The first of three episodes aired on Monday 23 May 2011 at 9pm on BBC2.

Part 1: Love And Power

Part 2: The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts

Part 3: The Monkey In The Machine and the Machine in the Monkey