In the opening segment, Leonard Kleinrock, a chipper UCLA professor, enthusiastically shows off the 1st computer on the Internet, as the overture to Das Rheingold plays on the soundtrack, & the rest of the movie is similarly layered with ideas. I was delighted to see an interview with Ted Nelson, computer visionary & weirdo who invented an alternative version of hypertext decades before the World Wide Web. He is Herzog's kind of guy.
I had no idea that fabled hacker Kevin Mitnick would be so cheerful & such a terrific story teller. His talent for social engineering might be more dangerous than his computer skills. I felt I needed to learn more about the story of cybersleuth Shawn Carpenter, who is far too casual describing how to get spyware onto someone's computer.
Some of the ideas presented are highly speculative, but I love that Herzog gets provocative answers when he ask experts if the Internet dreams of itself. I am skeptical of the brain scientists' frightening claims to be able to read thoughts, but it seems quite valid for physicist Lawrence Krauss to ask, "Will our children's children's children need the companionship of humans, or will they have evolved in a world where that's not important?" It all adds up to a feeling that we are at a turning point in human consciousness.
§ Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016)
A film by Werner Herzog
98 min., USA