All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace

All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace from Norm Friesen on Vimeo.

“All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace” is the title of a 1967 poem by Richard Brautigan. Among other things, it is a rich record of what new technologies and technological ways of thinking can evoke. “All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace” is also the title of a 2011 documentary by Adam Curtis. The video above, is where the latter references the former. Here is the full text of the original poem:

ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE

Richard Brautigan

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

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