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Watch Neill Blomkamp Find Technocatharsis by Running Over His Monitors

The latest video in our Pilot Week is about as simple as that.

by Derek Mead
Jun 2 2016, 12:00am

I love technology. I love computers. I love gadgets and things that go beep in the night. They've made my day-to-day measurably better, or at least more interesting. They also continually threaten to take over my life.

Some time long ago I used to find the idea of techno-addiction—at least outside of people with clinical disorders—fairly silly. It's like when someone erroneously says they "totally are OCD" about something trivially annoying: Saying "I'm addicted to my phone" while staring at the darn thing at dinner downplays genuine mental health concerns while simultaneously overdramatizing our own lack of etiquette.

Nowadays, I spend at least twelve hours a day staring at a screen, sleep with my phone under the pillow next to me, and get stressed if I am stuck without internet access for any extended period of time. People are SURELY saying something important on there, right now!!! screams my brain, which I'm finding myself increasingly at odds with.

I've long had this mysterious sensation of my computer screen being deeper than it actually is. It's something like two millimeters thick, and yet when I'm looking at it, it feels like looking into an endless hole—all these apps, all this internet, it's all this STUFF in there that can be accessed at any moment. It's an incredible resource, until it becomes your life. Then it's just as easily its own cybercelestial body, sucking you into its infogravitational pull until you can't escape.

I'm not going to speak for Neill Blomkamp by saying he's quite this ridiculously neurotic, but when Motherboard's Xavier Aaronson paid him a visit earlier this year, he too expressed a desire to free himself from the bonds of his many monitors. And with that, he signed up to pilot our show Technocatharsis. I know I'm already feeling more relaxed.