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1  
2009  

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Baratunde Thurston ...
 Himself - Host (10 episodes, 2009)
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10 August 2009 (USA)  »

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The Future of  »

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$250,000 (estimated)
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Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.108 (2010) See more »

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Celebrating Big Brother
19 August 2014 | by (Not Preston, thankfully) – See all my reviews

Baratunde Thurston. How awkwardly sounding combination of an Afrogenic first name and an Anglo-Saxon surname. How awkward (still) to see a black techno-geek. And so smug about it at that. "I know something you don't" attitude. "Imagine what the future holds..." - how annoyingly casually flamboyant title song.

And just what does the future hold in this run-of-the mill future-imagining show? Not much good if you don't believe in big government.

The show covers various aspects of the technological future through themed episodes. So we have the future of medicine, future of transportation, future of communication and other various things. The usual: better artificial limbs, smarter cars and phones, etc. Thurston happily visits various tech-laboratories where these things are developed and arranges for demonstrations.

But then there is future of "security" and future of "warfare". And that's where this show turns on its sinister side. Still happy about it all, Thurston sings praises of how security (or better, surveillance) of society will be tighter, with more cameras and sensors around, how policemen and soldiers will kill with greater precision and lesser effort... Are we supposed to share Thurston's enthusiasm for that? What's in it for us? Better safety from "terrorists"? There is no mention that US government is responsible for the existence of the better part of them in the first place. Thurstone doesn't seem to care. That all of it will be hi-tech is all that matters to him. How blissfully ignorant.

He can't be a paid shill for the government. Not an obscure blogger on an obscure TV-channel that is Discovery. That makes no sense. I guess the whole effort was just to impartially bring closer various aspects of technical progress, without a pro or con agenda. But I can't help the feeling that singing praises to the more technologically advanced government is like a sheep singing praises to a sharper butcher knife.


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