Watched Rams by an author from Gary Hustwit
Really nice documentary about Dieter Rams:

He was one of the first electronic product designers and was heavily involved in Braun’s designs in the 60s and 70s, supposedly a big influence on Jonathan Ive.

However, he’s very vocal on the importance of longevity and sustainability, with the motto ‘less, but better’, from a design standpoint but also an anti-consumerism standpoint. At one point in the film he laments the lack of thought around repairability in modern design.

Nice soundtrack by Brian Eno too.

If your Grandad was a Marxist, he’d be David Harvey.  Gather round, children, gather round… now, let me tell you a story… there is a spectre haunting Europe, and.. can anybody tell me what it is?
Watched The Media & Big Business: Friends of Fascism? by an author from Novara Media

As Tommy Robinson gets boosted by the UK press, and Brazil’s stock market backs Jair Bolsonaro. We ask: Why are the mainstream media, big business and fascists all besties? With Ash Sarkar and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera.…

Some pretty stark prognostications from Oscar Guardiola-Rivera about what fascism in Colombia and Brazil, coupled with Trump in the US, could portend.

One glimmer of positivity at the end, that there is a resistance movement already organising.

Watched The Century of the Self – Part 4: “Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering”
Final episode of Century of the Self. The culmination of psychoanalysis and public relations inserting themselves into politics, with Clinton and Blair basing most of their policies on feelings-based focus groups of swing voters. Selfish desires trumping feelings of altruism, denigration of welfare, individualism over society. The populace treated as needy consumers, not engaged citizens.

Really good documentary by Adam Curtis. Entertaining and informative.

Watched Four Horsemen from Renegade Inc

Four Horsemen is an award winning independent feature documentary made by the Renegade Inc. team which lifts the lid on how the world really works.
As we will never return to ‘business as usual’ 23 international thinkers, government advisors and Wall Street money-men break their silence and expl…

Watched the Four Horsemen documentary. It’s a bit heavy-handed, maybe a bit disjointed, but an interesting selection of interviews and a decent broad brush at the damage neoliberalism is causing. It felt like there was a lot radical rhetoric, not so much in the way of concrete praxis, but I guess it probably works best as an eye-opener film. The presence of Joseph Stiglitz would suggest it’s a more reformist than revolutionary message. But then Noam Chomsky was in there too. Female voices were somewhat underrepresented. I didn’t particular like the small segment of ‘we just need a different type of capitalism’. And sometimes it felt like a focus on the individual more than society as the vector of change. But if it causes some people to question the current sociopolitical system, then all power to it.
Watched The Century of the Self – Part 3: “There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed.”
Watching Century of the Self, first time I have heard of the Kent State shootings. Astonishing – the US state firing on an unarmed student protest. According to the documentary, it had a suffocating effect on the protest movement.
Watched The Century of the Self – Part 2: “The Engineering of Consent”
Edward Bernays, United Fruit and the CIA in Guatamala – using propaganda to fuel a coup of a democratic socialist leader on behalf of a corporation. Pretty warped stuff.
A very eloquent monologue on utopias and environmentalism by China Mieville.  They are necessary but not sufficient, Rorschach images to help us prefigure how we might want things to be.  He also warns against the real and potential perils of utopian eco-fascism.
Final episode of The City & The City was really good.  David Morrissey really grew on me as Borlu.  I read a few reviews after finishing, quite a few a bit sniffy. But I really liked it.

I guess a point if criticism, it didn’t really explore the whole idea of ‘unseeing’. There’s a lot in that, but we ended up more focusing on the mystery and the personal relationships.

The City & The City is really good. Just watched episode 2 and getting hooked. It’s a really interesting concept of a mental border. A means to segregate people psychologically even when there is no physical border.

Plus, loving all the Northern accents.

Just watched the first episode of The City & The City. I enjoyed it. It’s a great book and they’ve done a good job of capturing some of the atmosphere of the book. It didn’t look 100% how I pictured it, but I got into it really quickly. It’s a fascinating story.

On a side note, did a street called Gunterstrasse actually feature in the book? It feels like a blatant reference to old divided Berlin, and I don’t recall the book being quite so explicit about that, but maybe I’m just forgetting.