Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World is a 2016 documentary about the internet directed by award-winning film maker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Into the Abyss) who has an impressive 40 year-long career of making educational documentaries. In the last 20-30 years the world has changed massively thanks to the revolution of the internet and in the film Werner meets some of the people who helped create it as well as people helping to advance it. Werner focuses more on the people themselves rather than the technical details behind the technology they created to gain a better understanding of what motivated them to develop something that has changed the lives of so many people and allowed the world to be more connected than ever in history.
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World shows the best and the worst of the internet split into chapters beginning with the birth of the internet. On October 29th 1969 in an unassuming science building at the University of California the first message across the ARPANET was sent to a computer 400 miles away. That message was “lo” which was originally meant to be “log in”, a command for the receiving computer but Charley Klines’ machine crash while attempting to send the third letter “g”. ARPANET then became “internet” and the computer used for the first communication would continue to act as the internet’s first node for decades.
As technology advances so does the way in which the internet can be used. For example: file sharing, live streaming and video calls. There is also the internet archive, an organisation that started out saving explorable copies of web pages in the mid 1990’s but has now expanded it’s operations to saving copies of physical media too such as books. It’s hard to know what the future holds for both technology and humanity but the advancements shown in this documentary give us a good idea.