The immensities of the Internet in “Lo and Behold”

In her tour, Herzog interviews Internet pioneers like Bob Kahn and Ted Nelson, astronomers who explain the global hecatomb that could cause a solar storm.

(Translated from Google)

Are dreams Internet itself? This question led the German filmmaker Werner Herzog during his research for his documentary on the network, "Lo and Behold - Reveries of the Connected World" , which is displayed in the Authors section, one of the highlights of the Festival de Mar del Plata. 

Used to explore inhospitable territories in his documentaries, such as Antarctica in "Encounters at the End of the World" or the most shocking volcanoes in the world in "Into the Inferno", premiered on Netflix last October, Herzog goes into "Lo and Behold "in the vastness of the Internet and raises a series of questions about its possibilities, its borders and its risks. 

As the director of "Fitzcarraldo", his approach is anything but conventional. Herzog does not intend to make an Internet story or to offer scientific answers: what he is interested in is asking disturbing questions, showing silenced edges, forcing his interviewees to reflect on hypothetical scenarios, to imagine the unimaginable. 

That is how he asks a young scientist who works on the artificial intelligence project RoboCup if the robots he plays football are as good as "Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar" and if they could hypothetically beat the Brazilian team in some moment what the specialist responds that maybe 2050. 

Or poses Sebastian Thrun, a former professor at Stanford University specializing in artificial intelligence, if in the future can make films without a director of flesh and bone, Which he says yes, but certainly not as good as those of Herzog. "Of course," adds the filmmaker with his usual humor. The same thing he has to affirm on off he would have liked to ask one of his interviewees, a young woman addicted to video games, if she ever thought she was a malevolent dwarven druid.

Herzog interviews Internet pioneers like Bob Kahn and Ted Nelson, astronomers who explain the global hecatomb that could cause a solar storm similar to the one known as the "Carrington event" of 1859, which would paralyze all communications, and hackers as The American Kevin Mitnick, considered one of the best in the world and a real "celebrity" among the auditors of the network. 
"Lo and Behold" explores the multiple possibilities offered by the Internet and the technologies derived from it - such as autonomous cars that operate through coordinates that are received through the network or the possibility of future travel to Mars - although, as an adventure The doctor in Theoretical Physics at the University of Massachusetts, Lawrence M. Kraus, it is impossible to determine what will happen to it in the future. In the end, he points out, science fiction projected that by this time humans would travel in flying cars and yet the real technological revolution, Internet, was not anticipated by anyone. 
Of course, the B side of the Internet is also exposed: the filmmaker interviews a family that suffered horrors when the photo of his daughter beheaded in a car accident spread like wildfire on the Internet, or visit the town of Greenbank, in the West Virginia, a place without radiations of computers or mobile phones where people are living with people who suffer from a rare hypersensitivity to these imperceptible emissions. 
Like many of his documentaries, such as "Grizzly Man," one of Herzog's greatest abilities is finding good characters in real life, such as Internet pioneer Leonard Kleinrock of the University of California at Los Angeles UCLA), who scores in front of the camera with an overflowing enthusiasm mathematical formulas impossible to understand in an effort to explain the operation of the network and who, by showing him the first computer that worked as an Internet node, exclaims to open it and show him the modem: "Feel that delicious smell."


Topics: Ted Nelson, Festival de Mar del Plata, Werner Herzog, Bob Kahn, computer security consultant, Carrington event, internet, keynote speaker, Mars, Sebastian Thrun, Lawrence Kraus, Leonard Kleinrock, Lo and Behold, robots, Stanford University, Greenbank, Kevin Mitnick

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