Tuesday, 24 May 2011

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace: Part 1, "Love and Power".

A story about the rise of the machines and fusion of ideologies: Ayn Rand's objectivism and "virtue of selfishness", free market capitalism and the Californian sun drenched individualism and utopian dreams that seem to be the basis of so much that came out of the sixties. These ideas came to influence many in Silicon Valley with some citing Rands Atlas Shrugged (1957) as a key influence on their lives.

This film proposes that humans have been colonised by the machines they have built and shows us how we have let this happen. Since this has happened technology has dangerously started to shape how we view the world.

This series tells the story of the dream of the information revolution that was going to create a stable world and bring about a new kind of global capitalism and democracy. It meant the abolishment of hierarchies as represented in computer networks such as the World Wide Web. We are, it proposes, just mechanisms in a larger cybernetic system.

A small group of disciples gathered around Ayn Rand in the 1950s. They imagined a future society where everyone could follow their own selfish desires. The idea of a global utopia was also being developed in Silicon Valley. Many of these entrepreneurs were disciples of Rand and her philosophy. They saw the new computer as their salvation and the computer networks would create a new society where it would be possible to follow one’s own desires. Alan Greenspan was one of Rand’s disciples became convinced in the 1990s that computers were creating a new kind of capitalism that would move us away from decades of boom and bust economies. Yet, it was human desires for love and for power that would tear apart this dream of stability.

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