Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

I watched the CBS This Morning chef segment.  David DiBari’s signature dishes include Rigatoni with bone marrow, Polpette, Crispy octopus with smoked Marinara, Charred baby romaine salad, Chocolate polenta, and Bee’s knees.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on August 24, 1974 were “Keep On Smilin’,” “Rock Me Gently,” “I’m Leaving It All Up to You,” “Wildwood Weed,” “Waterloo,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Tell Me Something Good,” “The Night Chicago Died,” and “(You’re) Having My Baby.”  I went to the theatre to see “Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World.”  It was the latest Werner Herzog documentary, and it was about the Internet.  I appreciate the way he tackled the big issues and the big questions.  He takes us to the birthplace of the Internet, on the UCLA campus.  One of the key questions is whether the Internet is making us dumber, making us the substitute of a massive quantity of information in place of clear and deep thought.  You can use a computer to power your way to a correct answer through the process of elimination.  You get the end result, but no insight about why anything is what it is.  Watching a movie like this convinces me that practically everything on social media is useless.  It only shows that half of America is practically illiterate and lacking imagination or the ability to think clearly.  Everyone seems confident that some things like tweeting your thoughts will be possible in the future.  In fact, watching this movie reminded me of “Future Shock” from years ago.  We see robots that still can’t do a fraction of what a cockroach can do.  Herzog keeps asking the question of whether the Internet will be able to dream of itself.  I would say no.  The Internet is an advanced form of television.  It has the potential for good and useful things, but it mostly spreads mediocrity.  There is a lot of negativity to it because people can’t help being jerks.  You can argue that social media is worse than television because people on Facebook don’t have talent and barely know how to write.  People are developing the ability to find information without the ability to understand it.  They’re substituting volume for quality and depth.  It’s odd how people seem to know less about how to communicate with other human beings, in spite of all these phones and social media.  They lazily post their comments out there and expect people to come to them.  ,Herzog does show a sense of humor, and the audience laughed numerous times throughout this movie.  I wondered why Herzog turned to doing documentaries.  “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Fitzcarraldo” were great movies, although Herzog did have to deal with Klaus Kinski.  After all these documentaries, I wish that Herzog would try something different.  I almost miss Klaus Kinski.  At least “Lo and Behold” will be a provocative film for years to come, and it does discuss something that has impact on all our lives.  Somebody had to bring up some of these questions, and it’s to Herzog’s credit that he went ahead and made this film.  I left the theatre feeling pretty satisfied and then caught the bus to Emeryville.  I intended to buy some school supplies from Office Depot, but they were out of the dry erase markers that were on sale, so I walked over to Best Buy and bought a pair of ear buds to replace the ones that wore out recently.  Somebody has to explain to me why ear buds stop working.  I returned home to watch part of a 49ers game against the Denver Broncos.  I didn’t think that I was seeing the impressive Broncos team that I saw in the Super Bowl on February 7.  I saw a Star Trek episode with Diana Muldaur, “Return to Tomorrow.”  I don’t think I ever liked those episodes in which we saw Spock grinning and acting human.  There was body switching, and the advanced beings abused their power.  I did use the Internet on this day to pay for the cell phone, and to place orders for the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “Tootsie,” and a CD of Jerry Corbitt.  “Queen Christina” was on KQED.  I liked Greta Garbo.  The movie made me think of the late show from many years ago.  I don’t know why the other feature was “All the Right Moves.”  I watched an episode of Family Feud.  One of the women asked Richard Dawson to read the questions slowly.  Some of those families gave him bad T-shirts and things to eat.  I couldn’t imagine him eating any of that weird stuff.  Some of the people who died on August 21 include Leon Trotsky (1940), Tatiana Troyanos (1993), and Robert Moog (2005).  Today is a birthday for Kim Cattrall (60) and Kenny Rogers (78).

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