One of the strangest stories of the past 50 years – a story that has yet to reach its conclusion – is how two seemingly implacable enemies, the hippie movement and what used to be called the military-industrial complex, found common ground in the personal computer and the internet. For anyone interested in this story, and the many side-stories that spring from it, I’d recommend watching Lutz Dammbeck’s documentary The Net: The Unabomber, LSD and the Internet. A reader of this blog sent me a DVD of the film, and I just finished watching it. It’s fascinating, enlightening – and creepy. It gave new emphasis to a question that’s been troubling me recently: What does it mean to seek liberation through a technology of control?

2 thoughts on “Screening

  1. Seth Finkelstein

    Not really. They’re both trying to solve the same problem, but from different perspectives – pragmatic vs. idealistic.

    The military deals with many organizational problems. The problem being addressed here was “How do we coordinate scattered units in the event of a strike which might cripple the communications of the chain of command?”. That’s a perfectly reasonable coordination issue.

  2. Kevin Kelly

    If you like that you’ll love Fred Turner’s upcoming book which shows how a small cabal of people were behind the hippy bible, the personal computer, online communities and global business. All with footnotes and scholarly references. It’s one big conspiracy! Out in September.


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