Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

It’s tricky to pinpoint exactly when the world changes, but Werner Herzog makes a strong case in his documentary Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World: the evening of Oct. 29, 1969, when a bulky computer at UCLA managed to send a two-letter word — “lo,” since it crashed before it could complete “login” — to its Stanford counterpart. Herzog uses this as a launching point to examine how the internet has changed how we live, and while the word “reveries” and the fact that it’s funded by a tech company suggests positivity, he looks into the dangers as well: internet addiction, hackers, cyber-espionage, and the way anonymity brings out the worst in humanity. His sympathies are ultimately with the people living off the grid and playing old-timey music. Herzog being Herzog, he still Herzogs up the joint, such as wondering whether the internet dreams of itself. (The answer may surprise you.) He also well and truly flusters SpaceX founder Elon Musk as the latter muses about the difficulty of finding people to undertake the dangerous trip to Mars, and Herzog volunteers to go to with “a one-way ticket.” And while Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World was made pre-Pokémon Go, if you Google “Herzog” and “Pokémon,” you won’t be disappointed.

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