Monthly Archives: March 2012

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With thanks to Adam Curtis © 2011.

ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE

Introduction

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

Adam Curtis’ All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, Part 1

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Witty little point about Obama’s plans.

G. Norman Lippert's Shiftlock

OK, just following the logic to its inevitable conclusion:  If sex is such an essential ingredient to women’s health that contraceptives should be provided by law, how long before the government starts providing actual sexual partners to those who cannot find them on their own?

Seriously, if free sex is a right that must be provided by law, what about those poor, awkward, less-than-attractive people for whom free contraceptives would be merely a cruel joke, rather like providing ice cube trays to someone stranded in the Mojave desert.  I predict a time when young men and women will be pressed to join a sort of Federal Sex Corp, dutifully servicing those less fortunate on behalf of the government.  Volunteers?  Call it a physical tax– you must have government mandated sex with one ugly person for every three-to-four attractive people of your choosing.

After all, hookers cost even more than contraception.

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(NB: A couple of my points date from 2008 but none are any more out of date than that.)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

Some Facts for International Women’s Day

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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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Critique of Libet on Free Will