Suspect Nation (Channel 4 – 2006)

15 04 2010

Observer journalist Henry Porter reveals how, in the UK, citizen’s movements are being watched, and recorded more than ever before.

Henry Porter (born 1953) is an English author and journalist. He is a writer of thrillers and a regular columnist for The Observer newspaper. He is also the British editor of Vanity Fair.

Porter’s articles are mainly concerned with liberty and civil rights. In February 2009 he co-founded The Convention on Modern Liberty.

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Douglas Adams – Hyperland (1990)

30 03 2010

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Hyperland is a 50 minute long documentary film about hypertext and surrounding technologies written by Douglas Adams and produced by BBC Two in 1990. It stars Douglas Adams as a computer user and Tom Baker, with whom Adams already had worked on Doctor Who, as a software agent.  Very prescient.





CYBERPUNK (1992)

16 02 2010

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An underground video produced by Marianne Trench and Peter von Brandenburg exploring the meaning of cyberpunk and its cultural significance. The year in which this video was produced (1992) makes it a worthwhile watch as it was just when science fiction and technological reality started to converge. Plus all those early computer generated graphics and that VHS aesthetic really does it for me. (That’s just me though)

Also it features an interview with William Gibson (author of Neuromancer)

Cyberpunk. Mystic Fire Video: Intercon Productions.





Baloney Detection Kit – Michael Shermer

3 02 2010

With a sea of information coming at us from all directions, how do we sift out the misinformation and bogus claims, and get to the truth? Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, lays out a “Baloney Detection Kit” — ten questions we should ask when encountering a claim.

The Ten Questions

  1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
  2. Does the source make similar claims?
  3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
  4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
  5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
  6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
  7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
  8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
  9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
  10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?




Computer Chronicles (KCSM-TV)

27 01 2010

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Computer Games (1984/Ep 1)

The Computer Chronicles was a US television series, broadcast during 1981-2002, which documented the rise of the personal computer from its infancy to the immense market at the turn of the century. The series was created in the Fall of 1981, by Stewart Cheifet (later co-host), then the station manager of the College of San Mateo’s KCSM-TV, initially broadcast as a local weekly series. Jim Warren was its founding host for its 1981-1982 season. It aired continuously from 1981 to 2002 with Cheifet co-hosting most of its later seasons. Gary Kildall served as co-host for six years (1983 to 1990) providing insights and commentary on products as well as discussions on the future of the ever-expanding personal computer sphere.

See more episodes on cosmolearning.com

1984 series

1985 series

1986 series

KCSM-TV currently faces the prospect of being sold.

Community college leaders want to avoid putting KCSM-TV on the market, but a fundraising effort has fallen way short of its goal.

The campaign had sought $1 million in community donations by Jan. 1 to help save the longtime Bay Area public-broadcasting fixture from possibly being sold.

However, it has yielded only $30,000 so far, according to KCSM General Manager Marilyn Lawrence.

For more information about the television fundraiser, go to http://kcsm.org/interact/savetv





Cosmos – Carl Sagan

23 01 2010

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, with Sagan as global presenter. It was executive-produced by Adrian Malone, produced by David Kennard, Geoffrey Haines-Stiles and Gregory Andorfer, and directed by the producers and David Oyster, Richard Wells, Tom Weidlinger, and others. It covered a wide range of scientific subjects including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe.

Below are the first three episodes from the series.


59:51
Episode 1: “The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean”

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1:58:26
Episode 2: “One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue”

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58:22
Episode 3: “The Harmony of the Worlds”

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Fermat’s Last Theorem (1996)

22 01 2010
Fermat’s Last Theorem (1996)
45:21

Simon Singh and John Lynch’s film tells the story of Andrew Wiles. A quiet English mathematician, he was drawn into maths by Fermat’s puzzle, but at Cambridge in the ’70s, FLT was considered a joke, so he set it aside. Then, in 1986, an extraordinary idea linked this irritating problem with one of the most profound ideas of modern mathematics: the Taniyama-Shimura Conjecture, named after a young Japanese mathematician who tragically committed suicide.