Film Review: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World at the Tyneside Cinema (Spoiler Alert)

Director and the plot?

The documentary followed Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet and the connected world (IMDB, 2016). He interviewed various expects in their fields, who rely on the internet, including Elon Musk, Lawrence Krauss and Lucianne Walkowicz.

The documentary started with a visit to the UCLA in California, the birthplace of the internet and the first machine to ever send a message to another computer, via the internet. It was intriguing as the university students in 1969 had no idea that something so small could develop on such a large scale.

UCLA machine.jpg
The original machine that sent the first message “Lo” to another computer in 1969

The film then explored the new dimensions that the internet opened up. Research, for example, was nearly impossible before the internet. The addition of computers and specialist software helped to collect data from multiple locations and individuals, speeding up scientific research.

We are also being bombarded with new technologies, that could only be possible with the internet.

Self driving cars, that use radars and sensors to monitor terrain, whilst sending the information to a computer, via the internet.

This all sounds good, but there is also a dark side to the internet:

We were enlightened about an uncommon illness, which is strongly linked to wireless signals. We talked to a lady who become ill from radio signals and moved to an idyllic location, called Green Bank, that suppressed phone and radio signals.

green-bank-cabins
Green Bank – an isolated, signal free location in West Virginia

In the beginning, the internet was created to connect communities. This meant that little security measures were put in place to protect people’s identity. Cyber attacks and hackers take advantage of this, even to this day and find their way into secure systems. Infected emails can send trojans and viruses that can allow hackers to access names and bank details.

Companies can spend millions on security, but if you manipulate one member, you are in!

Despite this darker side, the internet has more potential than we believe:

Current projects such as SpaceX, overseen by Elon Musk, aim to investigate if the internet can exist on Mars. The logistics are simpler than we think… four or five satellites and relays in the future can create a global connection!

Space X.jpg
Elon Musk and his SpaceX programme

In addition to this, there have been ideas about the potential of robots in the future. Could you imagine, for example, a robot serving your coffee? or defeating the Brazil football team? Well these may be in your imagination for now, but soon enough they may come true.

Recommendations

The film opened my eyes to how overlooked the internet really is. We now rely on a technology filled life, and the thought of not having the internet worries us all. The internet has not reached its peak potential…

In the future we may not know if we are talking to a dog, robot or human online!

Bye for now.

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