Think or Thwim

A Collection of Things Worth Considering

Category: Documentaries (page 1 of 5)

An Isolated Tribe Meets Modern Man for the First Time

The video description says this is the Toulambi of Papua New Guinea meeting Jean-Pierre Dutilleaux and his team.

15 minutes. Link to video.

Transcendent Man

A trailer for a documentary about Ray Kurzweil.

3 minutes. Link to Video

This month we’ve seen:

  • A robot doing research on yeast enzyme genetics making observations, forming theories, devising experiments to test its theories, and successfully carrying out its experiments.
  • A computer program deriving fundamental laws of physics from a dataset of pendulum measurements, and more importantly, not deriving any equations at all when it was tested with random data.
  • The first circuit board created by a rapid prototyping machine to reproduce one of it’s own circuit boards.

I’m just sayin…

The Yes Men

When Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos created a satirical website at, some of the visitors didn’t notice that it was a joke. Through their website, they started receiving invitations to represent the WTO at legitimate conferences, and they jumped at the chance. This 2003 documentary follows them as they engage in “identity correction” for the WTO.

1 hour 22 minutes. Link to Video

Living Forever: The Longevity Revolution

What would you do if you found out you were going to live 500 years? It may not be a hypothetical question.

This episode of CBC’s The Nature of Things examines recent discoveries that are changing the way we think about life and death. We are starting understand and control the aging process.

52 minutes. Link to Video

Orwell Rolls In His Grave

2003 documentary by Robert Kane Pappas

Asking whether America has entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth, Pappas explores what the media doesn’t like to talk about: itself.

1 hour 44 minutes. Links: Google Video | YouTube

:: All Things Cool

The Story of Stuff

This 20 minute film examines our consumer culture and it’s hidden costs.

Leonard’s inspiration for the film began as a personal musing over the question, “Where does all the stuff we buy come from, and where does it go when we throw it out?” She traveled the world in pursuit of the answer to this seemingly innocent question, and what she found along the way were some very guilty participants and their unfortunate victims.

(Thanks Rosen)

Monks, In the Lab

A few weeks ago I linked to a presentation by Matthieu Ricard about how to be happy. He’s a Buddhist monk who participates in research into how meditation affects the brain with Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin. This documentary is about that research. It’s also a good introduction to Buddhism.

Dr. Davidson tells me that the emergence of positive emotions may be due to this: Mindfulness meditation strengthens the neurological circuits that calm a part of the brain that acts as a trigger for fear and anger. This raises the possibility that we have a way to create a kind of buffer between the brain’s violent impulses and our actions.

Tenzin Gyatso

52 minutes. Links: Stage6 | Real Player | Windows Media Player

A Review of Zeitgeist the Movie

Get your tin foil hats. Mike asked me what I think about the movie Zeitgeist, and I finally got it watched. It’s really three loosely related films packaged into one two hour conspiracy extravaganza. The basic plots:

  1. Jesus was not a real person, and the story of his life is plagiarized from previous pagan religions.
  2. The World Trade Center was destroyed by the US Government using planes and controlled demolition explosives planted beforehand.
  3. The world’s central banks are a scam perpetuated by bankers to enrich themselves.

Since it’s about the zeitgeist, there are already other popular movies about each part, but here they’re grouped together with an overall theme of a shadowy international ruling elite that uses religion, wars, and financial crises to keep the masses under control. Taken individually, I tend to believe there is a little truth in each of them. It’s also a well made movie, and there’s a lot to like with commentary by George Carlin and Bill Hicks and some scenes from The Network laced in.

However, the implied claim that there is some kind of evil semi-secret brotherhood orchestrating it all from a master plan seems pretty silly to me. I believe there’s a ruling class. It’s made up of the heads of multinational corporations and wealthy individuals. I just have trouble believing there’s a master plan.

Part 1

Similar to The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth, which I love. However, Zeitgeist makes very specific claims about where each part of the Christian story maps to prior religions. I don’t have a clue if those specific claims are factual, and don’t have enough interest to sort it out. The idea that religions evolve and new religions are influenced by those that came before seems obvious, though.

Part 3

Appears to be based on The Money Masters, which I like. Zeitgeist also mentions the North American Union and the amero coin, which have been bouncing around the internet lately. I’m interested and suspicious, but I have no insight into how much is true.

Part 2

I’m as angry about how the neocon crazies have used 9/11/01 to advance their agenda as anybody, but I’m calling bullshit on this part. It seems like a shortened version of Loose Change. It’s got the same feel. It’s got similar music. In fact, there is footage from Loose Change in it. And I think that, like Loose Change, Zeitgeist’s portrayal of what happened on 9-11 doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

The Viewer Guide

Promise me that if you watch Zeitgeist or Loose Change that you’ll also check out the Loose Change Viewer Guide. Mark Roberts analyzed the entire Loose Change transcript line by line and in my view, debunked it.

The Viewer Guide looked like a lot to read at first, but as soon as I started I got sucked in. I started with the claim (by both Zeitgeist and Loose Change) that the government’s official story is that Flight 77 was vaporized when it hit the Pentagon, and therefore, no 757 parts were found – indicating that it might have been a missile. The movie transcript has black text with a white background. Roberts’ comments (green text with a tan background) are woven in:

THAT is what the internet is for. I’d love to read something similar for the central bank conspiracy theory. I’d love to read something similar about everything.

In Mike’s email he commented that he liked the way the film maker prodded viewers to think for themselves. I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the time or drive that Mark Roberts had to research the facts, and based on the failings of Part 2, I don’t think we can trust Zeitgeist as reliable source of information.

It’s successful in capturing the current conspiracy furor, but I think it needs to be watched critically. The good news is, Zietgeist’s anonymous film maker(s) just uploaded a transcript for Part 1 with links to source information. They say the same thing will be posted for Parts 2 and 3 soon.

Bonus Reviews

I’m also not particularly impressed with Zeitgeist, the reunited Smashing Pumpkins effort, or Google Zeitgeist.

The Second Moon Race

This video starts like this:

Across the world, scientists are gearing up for what’s been called the second moon race. Behind it lies a prize that some believe could change the world.

“If we had gold bricks stacked up on the surface of the moon we couldn’t afford to bring it back.”

“This material, at several billion dollars a ton, is what makes it all worthwhile.”

If these men are right, the moon contains a new source of energy that could provide the earth with almost unlimited power for hundreds of years to come…

BBC Horizon | Moon For Sale

49 minutes. Link to Video

:: Ursi

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