BBC Series

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The BBC have just finished a short (3-part) series of documentaries by Adam Curtis, under the general heading ‘All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace’. It’s impossible to describe them briefly, so I won’t try; suffice to say I found them fascinating but often exasperating with their wild leaps of logic. For GNXP readers the most interesting will probably be the last, which has a lot of material about W. D. Hamilton, George Price, and Dianne Fossey, as well as extraordinary archive footage from Central Africa. (I bet you never heard a BBC reporter casually referring to ‘jungle bunnies’ before.)

They are all available here for the next week, at least. Unfortunately I don’t know if this will be accessible outside the UK – some things are and some aren’t, usually for copyright reasons.

[Added: if you can't view it on the BBC iPlayer, the final part is currently available on YouTube - search YouTube for recent postings on 'Adam Curtis'.]


  1. There is also a rich game theoretic literature on the balance of egoism v altruism. Does she address any of this?

  2. Not that I recall. The science in the series is faily superficial. It is more interesting for the personalities involved.

    BTW, not sure who you mean by ‘she’. The series is written and directed by Adam Curtis, who is presumably a person with testicles (not that I’ve checked!)

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