Technological innovations, inventions, trends and fads built or enabled by the internet have changed society in innumerable ways, propelling us forward into both good and bad. Many times we are caught up in the immediate story and soon after we are on to the next, not keen to stitch together or connect the dots of the journey we are taking. It is prudent at times to press pause and take stock of where we have come from and where we are headed in our pursuit of better.
Filmmaker Werner Herzog in his 98 minute PG 13 rated documentary: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World that opened in the US at the Sundance Film Festival early 2016, takes us on a this journey, starting us off with a look at the equipment that was used to transmit a the first message via the The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network better known as ARPANET, the precursor to the internet as we know it today.
He proceeds to engage various internet and technology pioneers from across the ages and a sprinkling of end users, to get a feel for what the beginning was like, what got people excited and how it has all evolved through to the present day and the explosion of information technology and connectivity.
- Biotech; using distributed system to tackle tasks,
- Cyber-security; with the Defcon Conference luminaries,
- Mobility; looking at autonomous vehicles,
- Education; confirming the distribution of brilliance globally,
- Robotics; the future of work and relationships,
- Social Media; its dark and uninhibited side,
- Addictions; when we get lost in virtual worlds of gaming,
- Space Exploration; Elon Musk’s dream of colonies on Mars,
- and Machine Learning are some of the topics explored in chapters that are all carefully unpacked, sometimes intertwined and humanized through candid conversation.
An easy, insightful, engaging, reflective and at times fear inducing watch even for those not technically inclined, that will open your mind to understanding the workings and the history of some of the things we take very much for granted in our connected world.
Take some time off to catch the full documentary. On YouTube you may need to access via a VPN due to geo restriction but on the basic Netflix plan that is readily available you are good to go on demand as well.