Adam Curtis (BBC) – The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom (2007)
All three episodes available in Real Media format here: thedossier.ukonline.co.uk/video_cover-ups.htmAdam Curtis (born 1955) is a British television documentary maker who has during the course of his television career fulfilled the roles of writer, producer, director and narrator. He currently works for BBC Current Affairs. He is noted for making programmes which express a clear (and sometimes controversial) opinion about their subject, and for narrating the programmes himself.I posted his The Power of Nightmares here earlier. In The Trap you will hear about paranoid mathemetician John Nash‘s “f**k you buddy” game leading to MAD (mutually assured destruction), R.D. Laing‘s attempt to reform psychiatry, leading to computer based diagnoses, and all sorts of interesting things about Friedrich Hayek, public choice theory, and the elimination of patriotism from public service.
Actually, this is only about half of the fascinating subjects Curtis discusses, and this is only the first hour of a three-part BBC series.
That people are only machines for passing on genes, was supposedly confirmed by an anthropological study of the Yanomami people. Adam Curtis interviews anthropologist Napoleon A. Chagnon: “I don’t think the ax fight happened because I was there.” When Curtis asks him if he doesn’t think that a film crew showing up in the middle of the village during the fight might not affect things, Chagnon ends the interview. There are violent film clips of the Yanomami beating each other with sticks in this episode.
Loneliness is a medical disorder, serotonin adjustment is the cure. Anxiety medication is the lubrication for the human machine’s free circulation in the market of well-being. (my phrasing).
Performance targeting buggers things up.
The numbers are not telling the truth.
Game the system, fake profits to increase personal bonuses.
“Human behavior is not entirely motivated by self interest…there is over-dependence on rationality. That is my enlightenment.” – John Nash in a recent interview.
Study says: The rules only work for economists and psychopaths.
Adam Curtis remarkably ties all this up in a neat bundle. I’m only giving you some nuggets.