* I’m in one hell of a hole. I put myself here, or I should say I took the actions that led to my downfall and thus accept that I bare the responsibility for being way down in this here hole. I’ve read some of Dante, I’ve read and reread both Crime and Punishment and The Heart of Darkness. I’m saying I know that some of us humans have a predisposition to manically obsess with the what could’ve beens and the why’s it have to be this ways? To allow themselves to become transfixed with fretful foreboding (the fear factor; the indices of fear). To have flown so high to have delved so deep, to have touched the lips of paradise and to have slept on the cold dark dunes beside the ember glow of the Queen of Sheba whilst shrouded in a sea of near absolute silence below crystalline constellations; to have conquered everything I could ever possibly have wanted and imagined and for then to have so abruptly… tea, bee, see.
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom is a 2007 BBC documentary series directed and produced by Adam Curtis (think: Hypernormalisation). It consists of three one-hour episodes which explore the concept and definition of freedom. In short, Curtis argues that today’s idea of freedom is based on a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures.
01. — “F**k You Buddy.”
In this episode, Curtis examines the rise of game theory during the Cold War and the way in which its mathematical models of human behaviour filtered into economic thought. 📹 watch episode 1
02. — “The Lonely Robot.”
The second episode underscores the first but develops the theme that the drugs such as Prozac — Happy Pills — are being used to normalise behaviour and make us behave more predictably… more like machines. 📹 watch episode 2
03. — “We Will Force You To Be Free.”
The final episode focuses on the concepts of positive and negative liberty that were introduced in the 1950s by Isaiah Berlin.* Curtis explains how negative liberty might be defined as freedom from coercion, and positive liberty as the opportunity to strive to fulfill one’s potential. 📹 watch episode 3
* “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” This ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus, describes a thesis put forward by Isaiah Berlin regarding the philosophy of history. Although there have been many interpretations of the aphorism, Berlin uses it to mark a fundamental distinction between human beings who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system. Berlin’s extraordinary essay offers profound insights about Tolstoy, historical understanding, and human psychology.
According to Berlin, humans can be divided into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea (he cites: Plato, Dante, Hegel, Nietzsche and Proust), and foxes, who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be summed up into a single idea (he cites: Aristotle, Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Joyce).