ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE

Tuesday 10 May 2011, 18:42

Adam Curtis Adam Curtis

Here's a slightly longer trail.

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    Comment number 1.

    Excellent Adam, unfortunately I now live in Berlin, so I will revert to some other illegal method to watch this new series that obviously raises a loaded gun to the head of consumer capitalism.

    Another thing, you did a blog entry called "Weird in Waziristan", which you ended "to be continued". I would love to see the next segment.

    Cant wait.

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    Comment number 2.

    Good stuff Adam. I've set my 'vision box' to store it on my 'raid server'.

    Have you looked at archive.org at all Adam? There is some brilliant footage on their that screams Adam Curtis.

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    Comment number 3.

    Really look forward to this one, seems to address a lot of my recent thinking about.

    I can fully understand the dash to the countryside by many seeking a 'simpler' life, from my own experience I know I love when I can turn off the phone, power down the pc and all other similar gadgets - it's such a relief to be away from the constant barrage of information, requests (emails) and issues (more emails). I'm not entirely sure how people can digest the streams and streams of data coming through on sites like Facebook and Twitter - it pains my head just to think about, it's almost like your brain has to distinguish within seconds whether to disregard or consume the new snippet (of usually irrelevant) info. This only leads to the increasingly lost 'step back and ponder' way of thinking and the growing impatience of people, at least in my experience.

    Previously working in a big office, I enjoyed watching fellow employees when their computers were starting up or loading, a condition that seemed to grow through the years. Rather than sitting back and enjoying the enforced free time (3-5 minutes sometimes), they'd tap and fidget irrepressibly, desperate for their machines to be in a state ready for use, something I found very interesting. They would then quite happily waste this time at other points during the day but I guess they then felt they were in control of the 'free time' rather than the machine deciding some 'free time' onto them.

    I'm confident it won't but would love if any mention is made to the noise levels of computers and their ilk, I find it such a drain on the mental thought process. It drives me bonkers, acting like a constant cloud over your thinking, I have no past experiece but I imagine much like mind numbing anti-depressent drugs have in dulling the production of ideas (tongue-in-cheek..). Easily the most important thing to me when buying a piece of electrical equipment these days is how much noise it makes!

    Finally, does anyone know whether this DVD on Amazon is legit http://bit.ly/mqXC0K ? I contacted the BBC shop about buying any of Adam's great documentaries but was told none were for sale (maybe due to the sample clearance of video clips?). I know of a few places to watch online but, and in relation to some of the points above, I don't want to turn on a computer every time I want to watch them.

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    Comment number 4.

    That was my first post, sorry for the poort spelling and structure! Pretty tough without an edit function and a tiny little box to write in..

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    Comment number 5.

    Can't help noticing the Brautigan reference in the post title.
    And can't wait for a new documentary series. I've exhausted your backlist.

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    Comment number 6.

    I'm also really looking forward to this, there is something so compelling about Adam Curtis's ideas and stories, set to such an amazing soundtrack and with some truly strange old footage.

    Does anyone know the name of the songs playing in this clip?

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    Comment number 7.

    The guitar led song at the end is: Stereo Total - AUA

    Youtube clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35MeZ1wP6vU

    I'm really interested in the one that comes in at the end of the Ayn Rand clip, it fits so well.

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    Comment number 8.

    Here's the list of songs used in this trail.

    00.00-00.11: Best Friends - Angelo Badalamenti
    00.12-01.03: In Dreams - Roy Orbison
    01.18-02.11: Right Where It Belongs - Nine Inch Nails
    02.11-02.39: Corona Radiata - Nine Inch Nails
    02.32-03.09: Forgive - Burial
    03.10-03.38: Aua - Stereo Total
    03.39-03.49: Le Fiacre - Jean Sablon

    Grooveshark playlist: http://grooveshark.com/#/playlist/All+Watched+Over+By+Machines+Of+Loving+Grace/53450482?src=5

    Adam, if it's you who picks out the music, you have consistently excellent taste!

    //autosuggested

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    Comment number 9.

    Very nice,tnx @autosuggested.
    Unfortunately i will also have to use some illegal methods to watch this piece of art,
    cause i live in "almost" third world country and of course "with a little help from my machine"

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    Comment number 10.

    I would very much like to watch this, but fully expect the world to end on May 22nd, is there any chance you could release it a week early?

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    Comment number 11.

    mynamesdan,

    Wouldn't it be easier to set back the end of the world by a week, than get the BBC to change its mind?

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    Comment number 12.

    @onwhosplanet - I can sympathise as I currently work in a big office myself, in particular the growing impatience. People just don't seem to want to stop and have a think for a minute. Most people are nice to be fair, although some 'only trust the numbers' shall we say ;)

    @autosuggested - Thanks for the track listing - get your dubstep out. That NIN song was on an earlier blog video, fantastic. I was actually trying to build a playlist of tracks used in AC's docs on Grooveshark, but I've lost access for some reason. If I can I'll try and get back on and post a link.

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    Comment number 13.

    Looking forward for the new series, it's been a while since the last one... Greetings from Belgium (luckily we do get BBC 2 in Belgium on cable.)


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    Comment number 14.

    We have all been talking about this documentary at the factory, Ernst Bloch would definitely enjoy the anticipation, if only things had worked out differently such documentaries would not have been necessary...

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    Comment number 15.

    Global Première for Adam Curtis!!!

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    Comment number 16.

    Hello Adam Curtis, I was wondering if this would be made available online. I live in the United States and your documentaries are among my favorite and it would be great if you could talk the BBC into letting you upload with no global-restrictions. I'm sure that's something you would personally believe in yourself. If I do remember correctly, you asked them before.

    Best of luck
    -Plato

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    Comment number 17.

    @ 8. autosuggested - Thanks!

    (It would be brilliant if an official playlist was released alongside the series - hint hint...)

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    Comment number 18.

    Cannot wait, as I expected it will deal with much of the content of 'Cyburbia' and the follow up 'Lost In Cyburbia'.

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    Comment number 19.

    Thanks for that tracklist autosuggested! Who'd have thought I'd like a bit of Nine Inch Nails, thought he / they were too dark for my tastes..

    No joy on the authenticity of the Adam Curtis DVD's on Amazon, Mr Curtis / anyone at the Beeb?

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    Comment number 20.

    I am hoping I have got my facts right here but I will stand to apologise and be corrected if otherwise....

    @ Joe Mckay - That's a good shout and actually James Harkin has got previous with Mr Curtis as associate producer on 'The Trap'. He also has an Oxford connection as a lecturer in social and political theory - strangely enough.

    But since one of Mr Curtis' core themes is in the itinerant nature of power AWOBMOLG is most likely to be an erudite synthesis of threads from many sources to present his own take on things. The VR excerpt, for instance, puts me in mind of Jaron Lanier.

    The Ayn Rand excerpt in the trail I'm pretty sure is from a 1959 CBS interview with Mike Wallace. It can be seen in its entirety via the usual channel for those who haven't seen it before.

    I can see an interesting thread here between Rand's notion of objectivism and the maturing notion of 'altruism' in evolutionary biology at the time.

    There is a reference in the Guardian article to 'the lonely suicide in a London squat of the mathematical genius who invented the selfish gene theory'.

    I was pondering if this might be a reference to George Price who arrived in London from America circa 1967, at the same time as Richard Brautigan was living in San Francisco as Poet-in-Residence at the California Institute of Technology where he was publishing All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace.

    Price's story is really interesting and is connected to the evolutionary theorist William D Hamilton by virtue of his having read and been influenced by an equation Hamilton constructed to explain kin selection a few years prior to his arrival in London.

    Price is noted for his mathematical work in evolutionary biology but specifically to the representation of altruism as an evolutionary advantage and for fermenting the relationship of game theory in a biological context. It was to have a major effect on his life.

    Dawkins' book 'The Selfish Gene' , published in 1976 captured and popularised the idea of a gene centric biological continuum against the organism biological continuum as a truer understanding of our evolutionary route.

    This idea has been misleadingly understood despite Dawkins making a BBC Horizon programme in 1985 called 'Nice Guys Finish First' which showed that co-operation rather than self interest was and is the guiding principle for human success - at least proved in game theory terms - because it turns out to be a win win situation for all concerned.

    This has to be differentiated against something like%

 

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