Narrator: What's the price we pay to live in this pervasive electronic world?
Narrator: Why do we shy away from questions about our collective addiction?
Narrator: Is this culture's technology changing us and our society for the better? Does it empower all of us, like it claims to? Or does it only empower a select few at the expense of the many?
Narrator: This era is unprecedented, and perhaps never before has technology been so prolific and shaped our lives so intimately. And there's the dark side we don't talk about. Why is that?
Narrator: We live in a world of screens. More of us would know this, if we'd look up and look around. Fingers that are glued to the screen which are glued to the eyes which are glued to the screen: everywhere, pervasive. We use them for work, play. But it's much more than that: the screens use us too.
Narrator: Think about it. In much less than one human lifetime we've literally gone from no computers at all, to computers everywhere, connected to all computers everywhere.
Narrator of "We Live in Public" (2009): It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people. Television did it in 13. It took the Web less than five.
Narrator of "We Live in Public" (2009): By 1999 there were more than 150 million people 'online', browsing through more than a billion web-pages.
Narrator: The filter-bubble puts you at the center of what *seems* like a vast world of connectivity and relevance. But really, you are in a walled information garden, a holding cell of two-way mirrors.
Bruce Schneier (Computer security and privacy specialist): Everything we do on a computer produces a transaction record. Whether it's your laptop, whether it's your phone, whether it's an ATM machine, a toll booth, using your Credit Card, anything with a computer creates a transaction record. Increasingly companies' computers are mediating all of our social interactions. And all of this data is increasingly stored and increasingly searchable.
Douglas Rushkoff (Author, Filmmaker 'Digital Nation'): The product online is not the content. The product online is you!
Douglas Rushkoff (Author, Filmmaker 'Digital Nation'): There's a myth, online, that what we are doing is 'free.' But all that's happened is that the place where revenue and value is extracted from us has been shifted.
Andrew Keen (Author of 'Digital Vertigo'): What you have with the Internet, is a world on the one hand, where a lot of young men
[Mark Zuckerberg is shown]
Andrew Keen (Author of 'Digital Vertigo'): spout a lot of... nonsense, in my view, about 'democratization' and 'egalitarianism' and the 'opening up' of everything; and on the other hand these young men are becoming infinitely rich and powerful.
Kevin Bankson (Electronic Frontier Foundation): What you Google for defines you. A log of your searches on Google, or any other search engine, is practically the closest thing to a printout of the contents of your brain that we've ever seen.
Narrator: Technocracy is the new 'democracy.' These forces are the pervasive hidden hand in much of the online world, openly bragging about how they can manipulate us, with scientific precision, on a scale like never before possible.
title cards: Today, over 3.8 billion people are online.
title cards: 2 billion active facebook users, every month.
title cards: Average adult spends 8+ hours a day with screens. - More time than sleep...
title cards: Within 15 minutes of waking up, 4 out of 5 'smartphone' users are checking their phones.
title cards: By the time the average person reaches 70, they will have spent the equivalent of 10 to 15 years of their life watching television. - 4+ years just watching the ads...
Douglas Rushkoff (Author, Filmmaker 'Digital Nation'): Look at the devolution... The way how we represent ourselves online has devolved from quirky personalized html-webpage, the homepage of the 90s, to the somewhat modular but still strange presence of a MySpace page, to the *completely formatted* and market-friendly presence of a Facebook page. It's moved from a personal, human, *open-ended* self-expression to completely market- and computer-friendly, regimented, and conformist expression.
Douglas Rushkoff (Author, Filmmaker 'Digital Nation'): We've turned the Net from a venue of self-expression to a way to render ourselves up onto the market.
Derrick Jensen (Author, Activist): We are already enthralled to these machines. Think about it. Do you touch plastic or human flesh more often?
Derrick Jensen (Author, Activist): This culture will consume the world in order to power these machines.
Katina Michael (Author of 'Uberveillance,' IEEE Editor): Screen-culture is not only addictive, it's obsessive-compulsive addictive.
Katina Michael (Author of 'Uberveillance,' IEEE Editor): We are sleep-walking into a world that has become over-reliant on technique.
Katina Michael (Author of 'Uberveillance,' IEEE Editor): We, who created the computer, will invite it into our body to govern us, and the machine itself will rule over us.
Katina Michael (Author of 'Uberveillance,' IEEE Editor): One Final question: Who will control this emerging new 'smart' surveillance-infrastructure, and what will be the rights of the controlled?
Derrick Jensen (Author, Activist): I can turn my computer off, and it wouldn't stop the destruction of the planet one little bit. What needs to happen is that the entire technics surrounding all this needs to be stopped. And it's so highly addictive that I think it needs to be destroyed, because I believe people are so addicted to it that they won't give it up.
closing title card: A film that was made with no budget, not-for-profit, and is released to the world for free for the purposes of critical discourse, education, and for cultivating radical social and political change.
William Binney (Former NSA Technical Director, turned whistleblower): The KGB, the Stasi, the SS and the Gestapo - they could never have dreamed of having such an ability to monitor the population. That's the real threat.
Susan Greenfield (Neuroscientist): Information is not knowledge. And I think this is what people confuse.
Dominic O'Brien (Eight time World Memory Champion): I think we are becoming more and more stupid.