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On the 40th anniversary of the Internet, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC tells the story of the effect the web is having on our society as seen through the eyes of "the greatest Internet pioneer you've never heard of", visionary Josh Harris. Award-winning director, Ondi Timoner ("DIG!"), documented his tumultuous life for more than a decade, to create a riveting, cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives. Josh Harris, often called the "Warhol of the Web" through the infamous dot.com boom of the 1990's, founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network and created his vision of the future, an underground bunker in NYC where 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days over the millennium. He proved how in the not-so-distant future of life online, we will willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire. Through his experiments, including a six-month stint living under 24-hour live surveillance online ...Written by
There can be few more tedious groups of people than dot-com entrepreneurs and performance artists: Josh Harris was one of the former who thought himself one of the latter; and in this documentary of his life, he reveals himself to be every bit as self-regarding as you might expect him to be. That he has a collection of groupies willing to assert his utter brilliance is even more annoying. What it seems he has done right is to predict how the internet will change the world; what he has not shown is any ability to get the timing right when it comes to taking advantage of this in a business sense, or the ability to suggest how we can shape this evolving world to make it a better place. Instead, he seems to have specialised in freak shows that might have accurately predicted some unwelcome aspects of the future and whose funding has depended on the the false confidence they might prove lucrative. The fact that Harris has himself retreated from the world of the web is telling; as is the fact that the chief executive of myspace claims never to have heard of him. Far from being the "visionary" as his friends attest, Harris comes over simply as the boy with too many toys. The documentary is lively, however, and oddly entertaining, even though one quickly comes to dislike and distrust the film-maker (a certified Harris groupie) and participants alike.
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