Sunday, December 25, 2016

Movie Review: Lo and Behold:Reveries of the Connected World


"People are the weakest link in technology."
Convicted Federal criminal hacker, con man and founder of 
Mitnick Security Counseling


Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, a 2016 documentary that investigates the complexities of the cyberworld in which we live today is wrongly named. The film is not a rapturous exploration of the birth and growth of Internet technology and the subsequent advantages to 21st century humanity that it offers. Instead, it quickly spirals into a dark and cautionary exposition of the possible and terrible things that have gone, and still might go wrong, because of our frighteningly infantile dependence on a fragile web of circuits and signals that sustain almost all functions of modern life from food chain distribution to interpersonal communications and, subsequently, through default of human nature--war.


To be sure, there is some incredible cutting edge, robotic footage included in the documentary, but the speculation associated with these clips, through closely linked interviews with some keen scientific minds, implicitly reveals director Werner Herzog's bias against a moral omniscience. Filming saffron clad, Buddhist monks meandering along a Chicago waterfront, tweeting obsessively is as pitifully close as the documentary comes to acknowledging that there just might be an unseen power, or powers, at work behind the scenes that does not require an artificial plug in energy source. The arbitrary forces of nature are scarcely mentioned (and almost irreverently acknowledged) in the passing reminder of the 1859 Carrington Event which lit up the globe and caused telegraph machines around the world to spontaneously catch fire as a result of unpredictable, massive solar flares.

For those of us who do not subscribe to the false premise that a belief in a Creator and the potentials of rational scientific research and development are automatically mutually exclusive, Lo and Behold falls way short of even SpaceX founder, Elon Musk's, amazing hope that a few highly privileged folks on this fallen planet will one day save mankind by colonizing Mars. It is the stuff that Philip K. Dick, science fiction fans dreams are made of and which Herzog feverishly ascribes to by embarrassingly volunteering to be the first to go as Musk blinks his eyes incredulously before the camera during the exclusive interview.

All in all, Lo and Behold, is a rather attractively shiny but dark, wanna-be-mad-scientist's view of what the world has become as a result of our insane addiction and dependence on the Internet, which was primarily designed for military use, and that just may end up being the initial code that unravels The Machine through self destructive human behavior which clearly manifests itself throughout the film, portrayed side by side with exponential advances in robotics and artificial intelligence. If mankind is 'evolving', than the bloodiest and most gruesome world wars of the 20th century certainly do not testify to this false theory that replace God's eternal plan of salvation and redemption with relative concepts of morality. If you still believe after watching this documentary that technology will save the earth and that greed and lust will one day be miraculously replaced by a spontaneous eruption of a global consciousness of love towards one another, you should probably hit RESTART and reconsider. Christianity, after all, is a thinking man's religion despite prevalent and popular arguments to the contrary.


Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:

though your sins are like scarlet,

    they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red like crimson,

    they shall become like wool.

--Isaiah 1:18