All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace

This is the second in a series of documentaries from the creator of Century Of Self, Adam Curtis that challenges the idea of seeing the world in terms of systems.

This is the story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans, and everything else on the planet, as components – cogs – in a system.

Strangely this documentary is presented through the lens of a mechanistic point of view and does not make mention of our current understanding of the world from an energy based perspective.  Enjoy!

Gary Snyder - Mountains And Rivers Without End

The Beat Generation's zen poet, Gary Snyder in discussion with Michael Krasny on KQED's Forum.  They talk about the latest release of his epic poem Mountains and Rivers Without End as well other topics including ecology, zen, native american mythology, and man's relationship with nature.


Gary Snyder was the real life person behind the character, Japhy Ryder,  in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums.  In the book there is a passage that not only reveals Snyder's intent to write his opus poem, Mountains and Rivers Without End, but inspired Systems Mural Project.


"I'll do a new long poem called "Rivers and Mountains Without End". And just write it on and on, on a scroll, and unfold on and on with new surprises and always what went before forgotten. See, like a river or like one of them real long Chinese silk paintings that shows two little men hiking in an endless landscape of gnarled old trees and mountains so high they merge with the fog in the upper silk void. I'll spend three thousand years writing it. It'll be packed full of information on soil conservation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Astronomy, Geology, Chuang Tzu's travels, Chinese painting theory, reforestation, oceanic ecology, and food chains."

-Japhy Ryder from Jack Kerouac's THE DHARMA BUMS

Overview • a film from Planetary Collective

‘Overview’ is a short film that explores the experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

Click to visit Planetary Collective's website for more information.

Kqed's Michael Krasny with guest Neil Shubin - The Universe Within

He made scientific history when he discovered a fossilized fish that was the "missing link" between land and sea creatures. Now paleontologist and popular science writer Neil Shubin is focusing his attention on the links between humans, rocks and plants -- and how clues to the universe's 14-billion-year history can be found in our bodies. Shubin joins us to talk about his new book, "The Universe Within."

The Reason for the (Flu) Season • Viruses

When you get the flu, viruses turn your cells into tiny factories that help spread the disease. In this animation, NPR's Robert Krulwich and medical animator David Bolinsky explain how a flu virus can trick a single cell into making a million more viruses.