We're About to Reach Peak Internet Paranoia

The documentary maker and director is back with a cutting glance at the internet age.

Maybe you were happy to be back at work yesterday; maybe you were miserable. Maybe you missed the endless stream and the barking dogs of the Internet. Those hot fresh memes. Those precious cats. Or maybe you would prefer not to know that Barry from Year 11 maths is now engaged. Congratulations, Barry. But no matter how you feel about the Internet today, the first Monday of 2016, one thing is almost certain: the web, or at least one part of it, makes you anxious. It's okay—it makes everyone anxious. (Now is a good time to press play on the above trailer for Werner Herzog's new documentary.)

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Did you happen to binge-watch Mr. Robot over the holiday break, like a few of us? It's a wonderful prestige cable drama about anxiety, both online and IRL. And it raises an interesting question: What would happen if all digital evidence of our debt were erased? What would the world look like if everyone started back at zero? While that's easier said than done, it's one of the first programs to make a key point: digital evidence of X thing is now more valuable than its print counterpart. Think about it! Print can be destroyed. Burned. Vanished. Digital cannot. At least ... not really? But what if it could? What if digital existence could really disappear forever? What catastrophic things might happen not on the micro but on the macro level?

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Back to Herzog. You might remember him from such films as Into the Abyss and Grizzly Man. Did you have a palpable fear of bears after watching Grizzly Man? Of course you did! Who didn't? Now, get ready to fear the Internet, as Herzog gives us Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. More specific: the Internet's potential collapse and large-scale hack. The vanishing of privacy, once and for all. The dangers of *true* interconnectivity. It's wild!

The film will premier at Sundance. We'll report back after we see it. Also, here's a little Grizzly Man for good measure.

From US Esquire

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