2011, Society  -   76 Comments
Ratings: 8.49/10 from 137 users.

Possibly the most unthinkable story of the last million years is the rise of the modern human culture. The cities we populate and the lives that we lead.

It is the environment that our children will inherit. But after a century of exponential growth in population and consumerism people are questioning the nature of modern life.

We're beginning to doubt our motivations and we're predicting environmental destruction. In understanding human nature our current concerns look smaller, more transient, with, potentially, a solution.

We've all got this weird mental illness called consumerism. We've all kind of gone collectively psychotic. Chasing status, in public, with people who don't really care and neglecting your own lovers and friends and neighbours and kids.

The consumption of material items as a means to acquire status is as much of a trap as it is a set of freedoms. The pervasive nature of it has perhaps crossed the threshold of us being able to cope with it and process the information. The high street is actually a stressful, anxious place. We're getting very little from it, but working incredibly hard to try and figure it all out.

We have the delusion that we really have deep insight into ourselves already. We're very sophisticated now in the early 21st century, but we're going to seem incredibly naïve in another hundred years.

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76 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Miss K

    Most of what this film highlights (yes) IS pretty dark & depressing. However, the fact that the end Summary brought ideas of solution & a brighter future made it wonderful & actually inspiring. I dig movies, books, literature that forces you to take a step back & not only look at the bigger picture, but also the truth!! IMO, people (I think) are already starting to do that... at least more than ever before, after living through this latest economic crisis. And also, I believe people DO see that our world & entire society is in an unpresidented state now, today. So much of everything in this film rang true to me. I recommend for sure!

  2. morrisseyowesmemoney .

    It bothers me when people make this accusation that humanity is a cancer, that we are somehow the singular cause for the eventual destruction of the earth. They fail to take into account that the earth, solar system, and the galaxy are not going to be around forever. Each are going to come to an end. Taking into account the bigger picture, does it really matter when? You can try to preserve whatever you want, but you are only delaying the inevitable. Might as well take advantage of what you have while you have it.

    1. Jim Jefferies

      Humanity is a plaque, and you are proving it even more... Selfish and hungry for power we destroy anything and everything. Occasionally humanity exterminates it self (war) but even that can't save us...

    2. DMacaoidhSelim

      I mean, we don't want to speed it up! Of course it doesn't matter in the grand scheme, but if you look at it that way, nothing matters. It does matter to the creatures on this earth, including us. We have the capacity to eliminate human suffering and take care of this planet better. It matters to each individual organism. That's why we should do these things. It's the moral thing to do. The right thing. Because if nothing matters, there's no point and this entire universe shouldn't even exist.

  3. Juci Shockwave

    This documentary oddly reminds me of an episode from Star Trek in which Captain Picard explained to the cryonic people from the 20th Century that materialism and consumerism doesn't matter in the 24th Century. That the accumulation of wealth doesn't exist. The only thing that matters is improving ones knowledge and persona. To be a better being. Hopefully we as a species will be like Star Trek in the future and not like Terminator or worse 1984. :/ Anyways great documentary.

    1. Dex-Star

      Hopefully one day we can be more like star trek. I don't think we'll ever be at that exact level because that just isn't human nature. Example, 1950's families, they finally have the ability to easily gain food, housing, and education, what did they do? They spent money to try to compete with their neighbors in order to demonstrate 'status'. Though I could be confusing nature with American Culture.

  4. David Faubion

    Two or three main themes stand out in this doc, for me. First, we can be happier with less stuff, a fact that is well known studied and measured. (Fewer words are oft more intelligible than more words.)
    Second, we have become comfortably numb to our destruction, such as species, ecosystems and whole nations; our destruction is an over-industry that surrounds us even encroaches upon us daily. The industry of destruction, which I contend, the 99% of us have little direct complicity in; however, as bystanders, as taxpayers, we the 99% are letting the war industry, for example, chew up 50% of our tax dollar (in the USA) most of our resources, our solvency and our security.
    The third theme that is, for me at least, implicit in this doc is that destruction, war and the like, which includes the careless wars of negligence and ignorance by industry on the environment, on workers, on children, on women, the poor and all the wars of cultural carelessness that are waged for profit--makes us breed and consume like there is no tomorrow. Biologists found that the biological directive for a species that feels endangered is to reproduce, which asexually for humans is usually consumption. Most of the consumption is in the hands of 1 to 10% of the world’s population. That is an unstable way to set a table for seven billion guests. A fourth theme that makes much good sense is the divide twixt being and having: the more you have the less you are. That is why a Gandhi, a Jesus, a Mother Theresa will outlast all the flash-in-the-pan billionaires of our sad demise.
    Wealth creates poverty. Stamp out the pestilence of billionaires; splat their purulent deep pocket of oozing cash out over the vast
    swathes of endemic poverty. Lift these people up out of the misery, into the light of a sustainable population. Start there, and then see if that eases the boil of mass-infected multimillionaires.

    1. Huma

      How well you have analysed the documentary as well as 'la condition humaine'!

  5. Nicholas Hewlett

    Sounds daft, i was homeiess this year. It was yhe people i met who were also ai a low point in their lives , i remember with more affection than most of the people i have met in 52 years, We all had virtually nothing except EACHOTHER , big difference to the lives most people live , look inside yourself, you can find a new and better world, if you are lucky. Not alot of people get the chance , i was lucky.

    1. DMacaoidhSelim

      I was homeless and a young and naive woman and the others protected me and showed me how to survive. I know something horrible would have happened to me if not for them (especially the men trying to get at me). They didn't have to, either. They had their own problems.

  6. chard01

    We will all back to poverty in no time fear not and i got their first "I got dibs" QED

  7. Johntechwriter

    A refreshingly apolitical examination of how we got into this mess.

    Consumerism, which will kill the planet if not brought under control, is not the product of some capitalist conspiracy, but rather a malignant outgrowth of our inner primate's need to dominate.

    We westerners who have been through the looking glass and come out the other side can change our ways, but what of the developing world, who are only getting their first taste? Will they give up what they never had on our advice that having is less important than being?

    I fear not. I fear the worst. Not that I'll be here to see it, though by rights I should be. Me and all the other boomers who have sacrificed our souls on the altar of self gratification.

  8. keli138

    Something to keep in mind when debating with those with old-fashioned mindsets: every generational push is going to be opposed and misunderstood by many of those who thrived on the older ideals in the generations prior to it. That is not to condemn them, it is to understand what it must be like to have grown up in one era, then to have everything you love and value threatened and ripped from under your feet by young, "inexperienced," "uneducated" people who are determining the future of the world. To date, I have never convinced anyone much older than myself of anything progressive that conflicts with their viewpoints. I think rather than engaging in pointless, hurtful, insulting debates, accept their place and focus on those who would like to move forward. That is how shifts happen; "Out with the old, in with the new."

    Be peaceful in your viewpoints and try to respect those that don't agree. You can more easily reach someone by being respectful than by being hurtful.

    1. Janeen Clark

      i agree , however i have seen great change and assisted in change in people of older generations, to the point where they are the happiest they have ever been and now can begin to live without the limitations previously placed on them. we evolve everyday, we can even choose a lifestyle with specific strategy's for advancement and continue to grow in a way where we have more meaning in our life all the time but sometimes we need a little help to get there. i try to imagine all the people Martin Luther King Jr. might have helped to see a new way and how they were able to let go of beliefs imposed by their culture in order to advance and begin to life a life with more meaning for them and more beauty.

  9. Jo McKay

    Fabulous, absolutely so. I feel the urgency of ecological threat. I also feel the urgency of the inexorable goal of human enslavement and elitist control, (though they will have to clean off a large number of the population in some regions in order to maintain their control), but I suspect that the earths needs will finally trump dictatorships and rulers (already spreading). That consumerism and purist un limited growth for growth sakes capitalism is entering it's evolutionary end is a hopeful discourse. I love the way the dots are connected in this doc...perhaps if we learn to stay in love with the earth and things we need to live in reasonable comfort, we might also find, and love, ourselves enough to become interesting enough for other's too to love. Ha! That ought to get some attention! The last half of the 20th and first half of the 21st centuries may well be known as the Age of Distractions, as well as Extinctions...a time of transition and waste that human beings had to get through in order to determine a more heart and mind healthy way to live...hmmm...? Love this!

  10. agun

    Oh the consumerism! We are struggling to keep our heads above water. We are turning into a cancer. We are getting all these mental illnesses due to consumerism!
    Consumerism is many times a temporal cure to depression, anxiety, etc. As always, correlation does not imply causation.
    This video has too much fear mongering. That will cure your anxiety.

  11. Ashley Bauer

    This is so important, the mindless consumer is being consumed by the stuff it wishes so hard to have,,, but the machine goes deeper,,, the products are made defective , to be thrown away by the manufacturer ,its a flaw the creates profit, and keeps us in the deadly circle,,,, this was a wonder doc,, the whole matrix of this mindset is a trap , and now the whole world is engulfed

    1. Janeen Clark

      think of a single product today ie peanut butter there are hundreds of brands each with hundreds of factories that produce hundreds of flavors , they are not n communication with each other in the sense of resources used total to produce as well as how much actual peanut butter the world needs what doesn't get sold goes to land fill now multiply this by every single food, or product today 50 percent could be cut down just by removing the monetary system and copyrights we could have a single producer with 20 flavors and still be at least 50 percent more efficient, this is one small capability of a open source society.

  12. Pjotr Theebe

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Great docu!

  13. Martin Palmgren

    I have yet to see the film, but these comments are fantastic. They often tell more about the real situation than any film could do. I have put down time and effort to understand the severity of the environmental problems we are experiencing and facing. It has definitely made my knowledge deeper but also put me in
    a depressive state for long periods of time.
    Janeen, you are a true soulmate. People with your profoud understanding are rare but a great hope for the future of mankind. It is scary how disinformed the general public is about the state of our ecological system. Everybody knows we have environmental problems, but very few seem aware of the actual time horizon and magnitude. We are talking decades now and much is already
    ongoing since long.
    A few months ago I held a presentation about this matter related to Dennis Meadows “limits to growth” and the following updates. It was a very quiet and bothered audience that left the lecture. It is not easy to present depressing facts and not being able to provide a solution. But I think the solution lies in the awareness of the masses because it is here the changes will take place. Do not expect politicians to come with any solutions. It will just never happen. What we need is a shift in our values and habits. And we need to stop confusing our needs with desires.
    Innovation and new technology is where many people put their hope to overcome these matters and guide us into the future. But as much as we already might have all the technology we need to solve the problems, our social institutions and structures ( money, law, politics, religion) leave no room for utilizing this solution. Technology has to be free and accessible for everyone. And even if we were able to provide this technology for free globally, will there be enough natural resources and energy to build and transport it? Tough questions, but they need to be discussed.

    So what is the real scope? What do we

    We know that we in an ever increasing rate are pumping out greenhouse gases. Even if we stop today we have already filled up the athmosphere to assure rising temperatures for at least 100-150 years. That will bring us way past kyotos 2 degrees Celsius. We know that with rising temperature comes more ice melting. The polar caps holds up to 7 meter rising water levels, the Greenland ice holds another 7 meter. Major part of arable land will vanish while global population keeps growing to possibly 9 or 10 billion people.
    We know that we are in the midst of a
    great mass extinction period, were a major part of biological life forms are gone or threatened to extinction.
    We know that major part of our woodlands are gone and with every tree we cut down, we further worsen the effect of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This also undermines natures possibility of ever recovering if we pass the threshold of the CO2 system.
    We know that we are beyond peak oil. The exponential growth in demand will effectively finish up this resource within the nex 20 to 30 years. That will obviously cut emissions drastically, but as stated above it might be a little to late. Raising the price of oil will only have a very small impact of prolonging our use of oil, but we will surely see both sky-rocketing prices as well as rationing before it is finally over.

    I don't know about you. But I certainly don't need more reasons to hit emergency stop and seriously start talking about what changes needs to be done.

    1. Janeen Clark

      thank you sir, for your kind words. one thing i have been thinking about lately when confronted with a roadblock in terms of communication of ideas to people, is their perception of names or "brands" ie venus project or zeitgeist movement etc. its seems like some have created an image of these defined terms (in their own mind) related to fears as well as associations with previous paradigms ie communism or socialism even though they have little in common upon closer examination. they never get to understand the actual information because they do not go deep enough into it because of this. I think it is very important to portray these ideas through the use of many figures of speech and choice of vocabulary as to increase to effectiveness of education. this is a common psychological trait. we must realize individuals have no choice but to filter information through their particular background and upbringing, i believe as we make the shift into a better future a lot will be resting on this important stage of communication of information, and great care should be taken to relay the message.

  14. codyac

    I agree industry needs to be more sustainable, and our population growth needs to become stable, but I do not agree that we have to do all that by sacrificing our way of life. Current technology allows us to do this. This video is correct, but does not realize technology advances in the pipeline.

  15. Janeen Clark

    it is totally okay, we can continue on and drive ourselves to the point of extinction, maybe the next version of man will get it right in a few billion years. however i think most people will wake up to this in a few years when almost everyone has lost their jobs homes cars have to way to feed and take care of their family then they just might think, wait a minute here i been lied to !

  16. don hindle

    It's very hard to live a satisfied life when billions are spent to convince us that we can't possibly be happy without a and b and c. But look at that little boy at the end of the film. He's in an environment that loves him, He doesn't even own his diapers. Have you ever seen anyone happier or who expresses his joy better?

  17. L.J.

    Please don't be fooled by these environmental nuts. I have been driving full sized heavy luxury cars with large engines for many many years and will continue for a long time. Electric cars are to costly, and funny looking. New cars' dollar per pound not worth your money. Disposable automobiles in just about everyway. These people who are mixed up in the way they think, would have you drink and shower with recycled water from the toilet.. They would have you live like a caveman. If someone wants to live like that fine but don't expect me to jump on that bandwagon. This will make certain kind of people upset(and do not care) but here it goes, I love beef and pork, also fish, I do not recycle anything,Carbon footprint I am sure is very high, used motor oil , I pour in the city sewar sytem(goes to treatment plant). And as a consumer I will buy a used Oldsmobile 98 or some other American car with a strong big block. Old technology is good technology because it simple and reliably works. Its just that simple. I see the kind of people who would agree and support the radical thinking this documentary is trying to convey. They tend to be 20 -30 something types who are unkept,ungroomed anarchist seattle types', with ugly taste in music and rude hooligans not to be taken seriously at all.

    1. Janeen Clark

      you are very intelligent for creating a stereotype and then lumping anyone who thinks differently from you into it that is not racist or bigotry at all and should be achieved by all mankind.

    2. IndustryOfBlame

      A hundred and fifty years ago people were driving horse carts, didn't flush their toilets or shower with potable water but still managed to perform well in life and certainly didn't live like cavemen. You're the radicalist here, in fact we all are to an extent just by living in the western world with all its consumerist baggage dating from only the latter half of the last century. Us being able to enjoy this way of life right now means nothing, ultimately reality will catch up and we'll have to apply pragmatism and adapt. Costs related to food, water and energy for the average privileged western consumer are going to rise sharply, no amount of technological progress or wishful thinking can prevent this.

    3. espen farstad

      Do you shave with a straight blade then?

    4. Catherine Hays

      I am also proud to be an American & Air Force Brat. I like to buy local & buy American! Still...there are people who might consider land-yachts like Hummers a little funny-looking, (like a middle finger at the environment) under the current extreme environmental circumstances. I think they have a more compelling reason to criticize even if they 20-30 years old or from Seattle (I am from California so I am safe). As a consumer society we are rather 'unkept' in our mental health due to a willful 'anarchy' that impels us to misuse our intelligence to live not rationally but selfishly. Corporations are pretty infamous for 'ungrooming' the natural beauty of the earth without a second thought, for money. Kind of selfish & rude hooligans themselves, me thinks. I thought often about these things while attending UC Berkeley. I studied policial science & the ancient logic of cultures, mainly that of India. Many ancient cultures lived simply yet were sophisticated in their thinking and their quality of life.
      My guess is that sustainable living is not going to be an unpleasant experience if we start now to wean ourselves off of our addiction to consumerism - Now you are afraid because the corporations are hard at work trying to scare the dickens out of you!!! They also scare me sometimes yet I just have to remember that corporate greed ruined the dreams of so many Americans.
      Btw, I really thought that red meat diet WAS the caveman diet. Cavemen were running around (as the story goes) hunting & gathering...and missed out on football, internet and Blu-Ray HD blockbusters.
      Suddenly they started building Pyramids using complex astronomical and mathematical calculations and speaking greek & latin. now here we are.
      But seriously, a little shift in our consciousness is the key. We can at least educate ourselves rather than being defensive and willfully (conveniently) ignorant. Remember, it was the stinkin' so-called thinkin' of people like these who killed Socrates & Jesus.
      THINK--it is not illegal yet--we leave everything behind at death and we never know when we are going to die (car accidents can even be fatal in those full-sized heavy lux cars). Definitely the hardest truths for capitalists to hear.We must practice a rational, non-violent-as-possible lifestyle in order to begin understanding ourselves as spiritual beings.
      BE LOGICAL- No laws against extreme consumerism does not make consumerism a rational choice. Or a healthy choice. Or a choice that improves our quality of life. Generalizations, accusations, Strawman arguments and willful ignorance will hardly offer protection from destruction of the earth and our bodies. Irrational life-styles generally tend towards self-destruction. Unfortunately.

  18. L.J.

    My first car was a 1970 Cadillac with 7.7 liter engine. My second was a 1984 Lincoln town car with a 5.0 liter plant. Peppy but not effortlessly powerful, nice quiet ride though very soft gentle ride. Third and current car is a 1978 5200 +pound Caddy eldo with a 7.0 power plant. What these cars have in common that I so much relish in is size, weight(big car ride), and engine capacity mated with a heavy car . That's why I don't buy new. Reason : New autos are too small , immature looking with no elegance. or very little. I am know ready to scope the market for a full-to midsize 1968 to 1975 auto , maybe Imperial, or Oldsmobile 98 , still up in the air. In California a 1975 car or older is exempt from emission testing. Ok point is many people do not and will not drive around in a yippy skippy electric run about to appease the so called "green movement". Your gas, utility bills will go up due to these type of people who are sadly all mixed up. So my friendly advise is not to take these enviro nuts seriously. They would rather shower in recycled toilet water with no soap. All for the sake of the planet,which is doing just fine.

    1. Janeen Clark

      let's see if you still think these ways in 10 years.

    2. IndustryOfBlame

      Good for you, being able to drive the car that gets you the least mileage for your gas. It doesn't change the fact that crude oil is going to hit an exponential price growth, not because of the "green movement" but simply due to supply vs demand.

  19. Jacek Walker

    Maybe it is the right path to go on consuming all that junk till the point of one day vomiting it all up. There're limits to everything, they say.
    But it saddens me and makes me worried that this whole process takes so long. We, as humanity, may not have so much time left...everything around us is falling apart.

    1. Janeen Clark

      sadly it is looking like most people have to lose everything they have and get to the point of not being able to provide for their family to lost faith in money , they will not have to wait long but it will probably be too late by that point.

  20. ghpacific

    Great doc. Makes me really value Buddhist insights into dissatisfaction as the motivator of one's life and how Madison Avenue exploits that.

  21. aam641

    There seem to be two ways to avoid the predicted environmental destruction. We can press ahead with a consumerist technocratic society, with the hope that technology will come to our rescue. Or we can return to a sustainable hand-to-mouth lifestyle, with human population under 100 million. I have yet to see a viable option in-between.

  22. henrymart81

    Am I the only anti-collectivist on this page? Starting the doc now.

    Update: 10 minutes into it, I had to turn it off. I can't believe people actually think this way. The world is pretty great just how things are. Though yes, it is a bit overpopulated and wealth is a little imbalanced. But generally, the world is pretty great and today's problems will eventually be solved - fueled by capitalism and greed.

  23. Janeen Clark

    imagine a open source society where everything was similar to a public library and humanity adopted a value system of caring about humanity and environment as a direct replacement to profit. we could take a hard look at the best and worst of previous paradigms and while constructing society 2.0 , make damn sure there are no built in elements that allow for any type corruption, next take a que from the workings of internet nodes and make sure information is connected to and from communities, construct skyscraper hydroponic vegetable farms and vegetarian fish for a self contained unit providing one every 25 blocks to provide food and distribution centers instead of stores, we could examine the systems around us to detect any obsolete elements and correct them with the best that we know of today. we could dismantle copyright and intellectual properties in order to have hundreds of the best minds work on a problem or solution that can be improved at any time by anyone that has the ability to show why their blueprint is better. we could teach our children that in society 2.0 even though things have no price tag we only take what we really need at a market or distribution center in order to be efficient and cut waste we could create things to last instead of creating waste all around us, and we could create a civilization that IS free by the mechanisms in which it is built instead of taking about freedom in an abstract way like Pepsi or Coke paper or plastic free to continue on advancing and improving the world. any individual can work in the field they love with a full education at no cost, then go out into the work and instead of competition, cooperate with hundreds or thousands of the greatest minds in that area to improve the world we have instead of destroying it. in society 2.0 humans will learn about the history of religion and that at it's core it is describing a symbolic representation of evolution or DE-evolution and that is what the symbols of good and evil represent to reality, we can make a choice , we can take Martin luther king's great understanding and expand on it for all people we can eliminate scarcity.we can eliminate laws by solving problems. SOCIETY 2.0 coming to a planet near you.

    1. Karl Hägglund

      Thank You! Kind off converted my own idea of "venus project" into actually understandable english. Even speaking to people from green peace (4 an ex.) It's actually difficult to get them to understand and/or get a grip of the idea that everything is a construction of an idea. Like, why do you actually celebrate your birthday and expect gifts? Anyway, get your point, tried to discuss it.....but I always loose people on their own illusions :(

    2. Janeen Clark

      you are wise ; D

    3. dufas_duck

      I can envision open source plumbers coming to one's assigned alcove to clean the clogged toilet with an open source sewer worker standing way down below in an open source sewer pipe, waist deep in dirty, stinking sludge because they love their work and love to make sure your fecal matter makes the full trip to it's final destination. It is their life's dream.

      Think of all the other menial, hard, back breaking or repetitious jobs that the thousands of now well educated people are just going to line up to do to make life meaningful for the earth and the world's population at large. The highly educated PHD that serves you at your favorite fast veggy and fish outlet loves to use his/her education in such a way....or maybe food outlets are not allowed any more, might foster competition, or choice. Can't allow a favorite anything, favoritism fosters competition...

      Since there can only be one kind of anything, no competition, no choice. Clothes, for example, will have to be all the same style and color. Variations cannot be allowed that foster competition, for this will create dissent among the masses.

      For people's good, only vegetables and fish for food, nothing else will be allowed.

      If personal transportation is allowed, only one model, color, and type will be allowed, if at all.

      If it is found that money is still needed, everyone will be paid the same no matter what they do.

      There will be those that realize that they don't have to do anything because everything is free. These people might have to be rounded up and sent to re-education camps by whatever authority that will still be needed. Get rid of the 'dead' weight, those that are a drag on society. One has to be part of the 'hive' and think correctly or the hive will disintegrate. There will still be those people that will not be content with society. no matter what society becomes and they will have to be dealt with. Can't have the plebs causing decent.

      We must all fall into lock-step and group think in support of the universal, one fits all society of the future.....

    4. socratesuk

      Interesting post. This is the problem with things like the Venus Project. Lots of people like choice........

      Providing education and healthcare is free in this future world, and I have a roof over my head I am pretty happy..... I ant bothered about clothes or eating meat.

    5. dufas_duck

      The problem is that many of these plans become self defeating by eliminating choice because choice produces competition, the very thing that these people that want to get rid of.

      Even healthcare and education is a competition for resources, free or otherwise, else public colleges and public clinic would be all that was needed..

      There is even competition for a mate unless they figure on choosing one's significant other for everyone too....

    6. socratesuk

      Some very good points there.

    7. Janeen Clark

      choice! lol you think there is any choices right now? here is some perspective for you the founding fathers of this very country would be considered terrorists in this day and age really think about that, really think about it you are "free" to choose amongst predetermined choices selected for you that all pertain to the amount of money you have to spend that is the biggest form of slavery in existence!

    8. dufas_duck

      so you think we should still be under Britain's rule ?? Maybe Mexico should still be under Spanish rule???

      What you offer is restricting people even more.

      You are correct in that we have less choices now than we have had before but, trying to make everyone a winner when they haven't even been in the race is really dumbing down everyone.

      You offer very poor solutions, solutions for the 'world owes you a living'...

    9. Catherine Hays

      Maybe Janeen's basic complaint, and her main point is that, under the amount of artificial manipulation of our lives--lack of media objectivity, the corruption and lack of accountability of financial institutions, etc) we The People end up with...all the freedom we have is...the freedom to go to Walmart. This does not mean I want a mono-lifestyle.
      DD's side of the argument, if I understand it properly is based on the fact that none of us is 'equal'. The statement in our Consitution (USA) is a spiritual reality. Otherwise, (in case some people did not notice it) none of us are physically or intellectually equal. Our appreciation of varieties of beauty, cultures, and music are not the same. Opinions can more objective or less objective (not that subjective feelings do not count for anything). In America right now, so much is made of the average guy's 'opinion'. Better to find someone who can actually tell us the truth.
      There used to be a respected place in society for serious philosophers who could counsel. Life Coaches for the Masses, if you will. At least, I appreciate that you, Janeen, are concerned about people and about their freedom to live a decent, healthy life. I appreciate your interest.

    10. gippy

      I'm a software programmer and I have happily shoveled s*it, although it had composted for two years and couldn't be identified as such. I've often wished that my sedentary job could occasionally be balanced with a bit of grunt physical labor, I'd feel healthier. But I'm on the fence, on one hand, I see Janeen's vision as achievable through technology; back breaking repetitious jobs being performed by machines, which is already happening, think of a modern car factory and compare such factories with the current unemployment, it adds up. But, I think dufas has some good points about choice. If you take away choice and replace it with a sense of duty to the groups welfare; well, I see that as a powder keg of repressed drives, and that I see creating black markets, just like any prohibition inevitably creates. Maybe not drugs and sex, maybe instead its that choice cut of beef your brother in law smuggles out in his bootleg.

    11. dufas_duck

      There still need to have the machines designed and constructed.

      I don't believe everyone is capable of obtaining a high degree of education. Many of the same problems that exist now will exist in the new society. Most likely, someone will try to initiate eugenics or some other drastic measure to alleviate the 'unproductive' from society which creates further problems, IE, the final solution so only the worthy remain to taste the new free freedom. Mental problems, deviant behavior, jealousy, greed are and will be always with us. There will be one group or another that will desire to gain power and control no matter how 'ideal' things appear. Someone's ego will always press forward.....

    12. Janeen Clark

      yeah and if a computer hard drive fails th best course of action is to say "there wil always be broken hardrives, therefore we should not improve upon the design" COMON!

    13. dufas_duck

      That is a specious argument and has no merit. Maybe you could be the sewer worker that un-plugs the toilets in your world..People are not hard drives or computers or machines....That's apples and oranges thinking... But you are the world owes you a living type, it's very apparent..

    14. Janeen Clark

      people become deviant when their basic needs cannot be met. people in this system can only be educated if they take it upon them self to live that kind of lifestyle .

    15. dufas_duck

      If some guy;s 'basic need' is you and you don't want to reciprocate, he might become that deviant that I speak of....Not everything is solved by somewhere to live, food and an education..

    16. Janeen Clark

      we have never experienced choice before. can i choose to access a blueprint to any building bridge of system and improve on it? can i choose to have a half million dollar education in say the medical field if i cannot afford it? can i choose to not participate in the monetary system and walk into a restaurant and eat for free? can i choose to design and drive a completely electric car? can i choose to not be subservient to an employer? can i choose that there be no laws or police? can i choose to construct a spherical home out of plexi-glass with a cement interior being impervious to natural disasters? you must mean paper or plastic? by choice or you must mean i am alowed to leave my home if i am going to purchase something or sell something am on my way to work or school. you must mean i can choose to spend money but not choose to not use money altogtether, you must mean i can choose to wear clothing that is acceptable by society , or that i can choose to be educatated to be a consumer or an employee or an employer , or if not you must mean that i can choose to purchase only what i am able to afford and if that means an item that is subpar and dangerous to the environment or built to break in 6 months i can choose that right? i can choose to vote for two different politicians when neither have any power to change anything , or you must mean that to become wealthy i can choose to lie about my product and say it is the best, i can manipulate people and take advantage of people to make a buck so that i can afford to by something that won't go in the dumpster in a month, so yeah we sure do have choices don't we? i can choose to live in a prison where if i'm lucky i can feed and house myself as long as every minute of my day is controlled where i can go what time who i report to. my car insurance and mortgage take every cent , or i can choose to break the law to get money and live in an even smaller prison . we all live in a small box i challenge you to examine these words i speak deeply and ask yourself what choices you are really able to make and what kind of world is out there for real.

    17. Janeen Clark

      that is a pointless and ridiculous and just plain lazy way to assume manifestation of your fears , psychologically what you are saying is that you don't understand how such a system could would and not be the way that your saying and that is understandable. but remember just because you cannot fathom all the details yet does not mean they do not exist.

    18. dufas_duck

      Nope, I understand the system that you describe. I watched all the Venus Project videos plus information of the Zeitgeist Movement started by Peter Joseph, read all I could find about them and it is a utopia that will fall under it;s own weight.

    19. Janeen Clark

      it would be impossible for a human to understand a RBE, and be against it, the only people not for it are those who misunderstand it.

    20. dufas_duck

      So much arrogance.....

  24. CB

    A thought provoking doco! Although without an obvious solution, it does suggest a conclusion; To the peril of our existence, we can remain as slaves to the systems we choose to follow. That is, gluttonous consumers on a finite treadmill, ignorant parasites of Mother Earth.
    In my conclusion, we must let go of our addiction to capitalism, choosing instead to be responsible human beings with mindful intent of the 'cause & effect' in all that we do.

    1. Janeen Clark

      i agree

    2. socratesuk

      So what is the alternative then? .........
      We quit our jobs, burn our branded clothes, stop eating kfc, and throw our ipads into the nearest lake?

    3. Ethan

      Perhaps, perhaps not. But thinking in such a black and white manner gets us no closer to possible solutions

    4. Jo McKay

      I think 'the' alternative is a revolution of 'heart' and 'humanity'. These are the motivators leading revolutions today and will for many more today's - until- the people take over. WE have begun to know our 'brands' are lies, our society a weak and selfish gene (copyright to Dawkins). We can only choose to rise above the worst of ourselves by re-defining what matters first/most (then 2nd, 3rd...)...when we care about feeding our hearts, our minds (those big brains that are crying out for something 'satisfying' to do) will find the ways (see the plural)...imo...of course.

  25. socratesuk

    hmmmm, interesting doc, but no conclusion....think they are kind of hinting that we go back to living in the woods or something?. Should of been longer and looked at alternative systems in my opinion.

    1. Barton Tiper

      Imagine a plane full of people. Its in free fall. Its very very high and the ground is almost way too far to see. Because it is so high everyone on board thinks they are flying majestically, except for a few who can see the ground rushing up at them, so far away. These folks who can see the ground coming decide to make a documentary about being in free fall. A theory so to say. They claim that the plane is going to crash one day. Unfortunately, their theory is not taken seriously as the ground is so far away. Whats worse is there isn't one on board the plane that has figured out how to fly or even fully understands the concept. Not even the makers of the documentary.

      I'm sure we have a few more years to figure it out. Us humans have a knack for fixing on failure. Its never been pleasant though.

    2. Peace Bewithu

      Quoting Jaws, "I'm aware, you can choose to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on the ass!"

    3. socratesuk

      Thanks for the post, this is the problem tho:

      Do we ban brands? But future tech will be affected? Apple and Google do re-invest some of those profits into research. (not that i will be getting Google-glasses or the next iphone/iwrist) but i do use Google a lot. Likewise Microsoft made skydrive, windows 8 was a bit rubbish, but at least skydrive means people should in theory print less.

      *This doc was probably edited on an Apple, filmed with a Sony video-cameras are a good thing right? Anyone can now make their own doc?

      Banning expensive clothing brands might help....but these companies do employ people in poorer countries. *Again rather than banning them forcing them to pay an international minimum wage might be a better idea.

      Why most of us still have to work 5 days a week I dont know?. In the UK most our wages go on rent or mortgages....its a complete mess.

      In the UK we recycle very little. Germany has a very advanced recycling system....(yet we hear very little about it) (*google it lol) its around 65%..

  26. rg57

    "We’ve all got this weird mental illness called consumerism..."


    1. CultureSeparates

      What is it, egoism?

  27. blitz901

    I think many people have already realized that more, bigger and 'better' things don't lead to long-term happiness (not the majority of people). I think many people also crave constant and consistently changing stimulation. For example I like to listen to music while grocery shop. I am quite happy doing it with a $50, no name MP3 player but I crave the additional stimulation that comes from more money. It gives me the ability to go on elaborate trips/vacations or buy things that let me do new activities, rock climbing, kayaking, camera/photography, etc. I feel the need to be constantly stimulated with new experiences. Money enables my addiction to it. I wish the doc would have examined this a little further as it the case for many of my urban friends.

    1. Jo McKay

      thank you for this honest post...your points are good. You have noted that it is $'s that enable you to feed your desires/needs for travel, adventure, etc. I can not say what kind of future society would embrace those needs...what I know is there are many ways ... I have flown to isolated and spectacular locations, (for free, because a medic or charter or ? was heading that way); I have hitched rides on boats on the Pacific Ocean and on and across Lake Athabasca; I have had vacation and work adventures that would have cost a fortune for others, and met people who shared deep into their cultures and stories in ways they may never share with another visitor; the only cost to me was my interest and a will to try new things. My ancestors did it as Fur Traders, Voyageurs, and Storytellers; The great adventurers, wanderers, can always find a way, a road, an invitation to dinner. So, take heart, it's all you really need - bon chance' and bon voyage'.

  28. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

    This is an awesome slice of introspection. Thanks. It is both brutally honest and does shed a ray of hope

  29. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

    "If you sexualize young teens you can get more of their money their parents money." This business practice with very few restrictions is virtually changing humanity in a degenerating way. This type of addiction for the purpose of business is rewarded to those who buy our leadership to the detriment of the entire species with all the collateral damage of turning our species into a cancer on the planet. And these leaders turn is into police state victims with their drug laws as another form of control. They keep us on pharmaceuticals slaves to their system and shoot us down in the streets.

  30. Darryl Forests

    No it was not a joke. I am a theistic evolutionist. I am not a Christian or religious, and am agnostic on the identity of God/s. I tend to learn towards pantheism/panentheism though. I reject the idea of a personal, anthropomorphic deity.

    But I am a proud consumerist and call B dot S dot on this doc.

    I am in the process at the moment of compiling an actual list of points about theistic evolution and consumerism once I have completed it, I will paste it here.

    Look forward to seeing it. It will reset, listen to me now, your mind about science too.

    1. dmxi

      oh darryl...are you lost in a forrest?

    2. Manfruss

      There is nothing wrong with needing to consume. If we got rid of that, then would we not have to stop eating?? Sadly, what we have today is an extreme form of consumerism, that is both self destructive and destructive towards planet and other people. Our society doesn't consume withing sustainability, rather more like a swarm of locusts.