All watched over by machines of cold indifference

This post is based on a presentation I gave at this afternoon’s M25 Learning Technology Group meeting at King’s College London.

The title of this post refers to an Adam Curtis documentary series from 2011: All watched over by machines of loving grace. This in turn was taken from the title of a Richard Brautigan poem.  I’ve reproduced the last stanza:

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

This is a lyric expression of something that’s come to be known as Technological Utopianism.  This isn’t merely the preserve of beatniks and hippies; Bertrand Russell wrote, in his 1932 essay In Praise of Idleness, “four hours’ work a day should entitle a man to the necessities and elementary comforts of life, and that the rest of his time should be his to use as he might see fit,” because:

Read the full story by

Tags:

RELATED READS
Trailhead Go #vted Reads: On The Come Up
We are updating our Privacy Policy, so please make sure you take a minute to review it. As of May 25, 2018 your continued use of our services will be subject to this new Privacy Policy.
Review Privacy Policy OK