With thanks to Adam Curtis © 2011.
This documentary takes its name from a 1967 poem of Richard Brautigan which called for a cybernetically-programmed ecological utopia consisting of a fusion of computers and mammals living in perfect harmony and stability. By contrast, the film implies that humans have been colonized by the machines they have built: although we don’t realize it, everything we see in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. Computers have failed to liberate us and instead have distorted and simplified our view of the world around us. Hugh Montgomery summarised the suggestions made by the film as follows: “By putting our faith in computers [or unfeeling bureaucracies more generally] to create a stable, democratic world order… we’ve become politically and economically naïve and dulled to the business of real social change.” Read the rest of this entry
Intuitively, a finite universe seems much more reasonable to us than an infinite one, if for no other reason than because in an infinite universe (or multiverse) everything that could happen, would happen. Read the rest of this entry
(NB: A couple of my points date from 2008 but none are any more out of date than that.)
On average, women in the UK are paid 17% less than men in full time work, and 38% less in part time work. This is particularly unequal because they are at least twice as likely as men to be relegated to the outskirts of society that is part time or temporary work. A very disproportionately high amount of this part time work is in the very underpaid sectors known as the 3 C’s: Cooking, Cleaning and Caring. More worryingly, disabled women are 3 times less likely to work than are disabled men and this is before the sharp cuts the government is presently making to disability support. Indeed, 72% of the government’s planned cuts will come from women, and it is already the worst time for female unemployment in 23 years. Read the rest of this entry
The experiments of the physiologist Benjamin Libet are famous for their contribution to the free will/determinism debate to the extent that in popular imagination they are often believed to have disproved the existence of free will.
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