Adam Curtis’ All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (3): The monkey in the machine and the machine in the monkey

(Youtube Direktgrace)

Hier der dritte Teil von Adam Curtis‘ („The Power of Nightmares“) neuer Dokumentation „All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace“. Den ersten Teil hatte ich hier gebloggt, den zweiten hier (falls die Videos dort mittlerweile gelöscht wurden, werdet ihr da trotzdem glücklich) und falls die Doku verschwinden sollte: here’s the last Grace-Link to make you happy. Ich werde mir alle Teile auf jeden Fall nochmal am Stück ansehen, ganz großes Kino!

This program looked into the selfish gene theory which holds that humans are machines controlled by selfish genes, and covered the lives of William Hamilton, George R. Price, Dian Fossey. Richard Dawkins, who popularized selfish gene concept in his work by the same title (The Selfish Gene), was also briefly featured in this program. Adam Curtis also discussed the source of ethnic conflict that was created by Belgian colonialism's artificial creation of a racial divide and the ensuing slaughter that occurred in the Congo, which is a source of raw material for computers and cell phones.

William Hamilton went to Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where there was a war. He went there to collect Chimpanzee feces to test his theory that HIV was due to a medical mistake. Unfortunately he caught malaria, for which he took aspirin, which caused a hemorrhage and he died. However his selfish gene theory lived on.

In 1960 Congo had become independent from Belgian, but governance promptly collapsed, and towns became battle grounds as soldiers fought for control of the mines. America and the Belgians organised a coup and the elected leader was assassinated, creating chaos. The Western mining operations were largely unaffected however.
Bill Hamilton was a solitary man, and he saw everything through the lens of Darwin's theory of evolution. When he wanted to know why some ants and humans gave up their life for others, he went to Waterloo station and stared at humans for hours, and looked for patterns. In 1963 he realised that most of the behaviours of humans was due to genes, and looking at the humans from the genes' point of view, humans were machines that were only important for carrying genes. Wikipedia