25 August 2007

The Century Of The Self -bump

Just finished the series and its probably some of the best TV I've ever seen. So this repost was the least i could do.

from the wikipedia article:
...The Century of the Self describes the impact of Freud's theories on the perception of the human mind, and the ways public relations agencies and politicians have used this during the last 100 years for their "engineering of consent".

Among the main characters are Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in advertising. He is often seen as the "father of the public relations industry". Freud's daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as well as Wilhelm Reich, the main opponent of Freud's theories.

Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

The business and, increasingly, the political world uses PR to read and fulfill our desires, to make their products or speeches as pleasing as possible to us. Curtis raises the question of the intentions and roots of this fact. Where once the political process was about engaging people's rational, conscious minds, as well as facilitating their needs as a society, the documentary shows how by employing the tactics of psychoanalysis, politicians appeal to irrational, primitive impulses that have little apparent bearing on issues outside of the narrow self-interest of a consumer population. He cites a Wall Street banker as saying "We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. [...] Man's desires must overshadow his needs." ...

It is all hosted in google video, you can view it by following the links below:

Part 1/4:
Happiness Machines

Part 2/4:
The Engineering of Consent

Part 3/4:
There is Policeman Inside all
our Heads He Must Be Destroyed

Part 4/4:
Eight People Sipping Wine

18 August 2007


FREE CULTURE by Lawrence Lessig: halfway through and I'm thinking its just fucking brilliant!
copyright, ownership, derivative content, universal access, and the impact of new technology on all of these. its an essential debate that simply needs to happen more. Lessig argues for sensible change so simply and clearly that you've got to read Free Culture if you're interested in any of it. (naturally its a free download)

I'll try to write some more, or to summarize fully when I've finished, but i probably wont be able to do any of it justice without simply pasting in large bits of text from the book.

btw, he doesnt just push open-content, he nicely describes how and why copyright itself should be re-negotiated.

Checkout the audio version if you want to listen to it.. like maybe, while doing something else ;)
"Free Culture" as a popup audiobook