Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lo and Behold (movie review)

This documentary by Werner Herzog examines the birth and evolution of the Internet from several angles.

The very first ARPA net Internet box, today enshrined as a museum piece at UCLA, was designed to be robust, yet its first communication on October 29, 1969, with Stanford, glitched on the letter G.  The first string being sent, character by character, was "LOG" but only got as far as "LO," giving us the Lo in Lo and Behold.

We've become highly dependent on our digital telecommunications networks, out to satellites. However these networks are poorly shielded against electromagnetic storms caused by either the Sun or by humans themselves, a frequently suicidal species (homicidal against itself).  Our way of life is always at risk.

Herzog also takes up serious downsides that have come with Internet technology:  addiction, new forms of illness, new threats.

Werner is a highly respected movie maker and parleys his reputation for access to some of the core gurus of our Internet age.  Great talking heads.

"Have the monks stopped praying?  They all seem to be tweeting."

Are tweets the new prayers?