If you were setting out to make a country rich, what kind of mindsets and ideas would be most likely to achieve your goals? We invent a country, Richland, and try to imagine the psychology of its inhabitants.
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As the build-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar nears its climax, this documentary investigates the human cost that the host nation has put into it. Allegations of foreign labour abuse and unexplained deaths have dogged the organisers of the massive construction projects necessary for the event - at the same time, Qatar has also been accused of putting LGBT football fans and players at risk.
2022 • Economics
In the second of this three-part series, Jacques reveals how fear remains one of the most powerful drivers of our spending. Visiting a neuroscience lab, Jacques hears from a consumer psychologist about how our brains are much more responsive to negative than to positive stimuli. He also meets some experts who have turned this knowledge into an art form, helping manufacturers make billions from our anxieties and insecurities. At the remote chateau of French anthropologist Clotaire Rapaille, Jacques learns how our sense of fear drives us in ways many of us do not understand - and how Rapaille's insights have helped companies sell us everything from SUVs to cigarettes. At the Beverley Hills pad of multimillionaire marketer Rohan Oza, he hears how Oza's connections to celebrities helped propel VitaminWater into the soft drink stratosphere, despite the fact that the product's health claims have been called into question. Jacques also confronts the men who say they are combating our most deep-seated fear - of age and decline. In Las Vegas, he mingles with the doctors and businessmen attending a global conference aimed at selling us ways to stay young and healthy, challenging them to justify their claims for the anti-aging business that has made them rich.
What makes an entire country take self destructive decisions of eating unhealthy, smoking cigarettes & going to war? In 1916, Woodrow Wilson ran on a platform strongly opposing US entry into WWI. But just a few months after taking office, the United States declared war on Germany. Soon after, the American people, so firmly opposed to the war just a year earlier, were enthusiastic supporters. What happened? The short answer: Sustained consumption of propaganda! PROPAGANDA: THE MANUFACTURE OF CONSENT is a revealing documentary about how public relations grew out of wartime propaganda-and a portrait of one of the key architects of the field, Edward Bernays. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays refined the techniques used so successfully during the war to sell products to consumers, and ultimately to sell capitalism itself to workers. Public relations was also critical in building support for the New Deal, and in the pushback against it from the National Association of Manufacturers, which created materials including films aimed at children on the glories of manufacturing. Bacon and eggs as part of a hearty breakfast? The work of Bernays on behalf of a bacon company. Cigarettes as a sign of women's liberation? Bernays, again. Casting the democratically elected government of Guatemala as a Communist threat to justify US invasion on behalf of the United Fruit Company? Once more, Bernays. There was nothing shadowy about Bernays. He wrote a book detailing his techniques and discusses them in an archival interview with Bill Moyers from 1983, where we see his pride in hijacking the women's suffrage movement in order to sell more cigarettes—one of many illuminating moments in this film. Featuring Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Public Relations Museum co-founder Shelley Spector, historian Stuart Ewen, sociologist David Miller, and Bernays' daughter Anne, PROPAGANDA offers an insightful look into the development of public relations techniques, and how they continue to affect us today.
2017 • Economics
Jacques reveals how the lessons learned from selling to children were used to make childlike consumers of us all. From the rise of product-driven kids’ TV in the 80s, to the man who designed cars that appealed to children, and the contemporary creators of games that hook adults, Jacques asks how spending turned into a game – one that we can’t stop playing.
Jamie Bartlett uncovers the dark reality behind Silicon Valley's glittering promise to build a better world. The tech gods believe progress is powered by technology tearing up the world as it is - a process they call disruption. He visits Uber's lavish offices in San Francisco and hears how the company believes it is improving our cities. But in Hyderabad in India, Jamie sees for himself the human consequences of Uber's utopian vision - drivers driven to suicide over falling earnings. Riding shotgun in a truck as it drives itself for more than a hundred miles on a highway, Jamie asks what the next wave of Silicon Valley's global disruption - the automation of millions of jobs - will mean for all of us. In search of answers, he gets a warning from an artificial intelligence pioneer who is replacing doctors with software - an economic shock is coming, faster than any of us have realized. Jamie's journey ends in the remote island hideout of a former Facebook executive who has armed himself with a gun because he fears this new industrial revolution could lead to social breakdown and the collapse of capitalism.
FRONTLINE’s three-part series The Power of Big Oil examines the fossil fuel industry’s history of denying climate change by delaying action and casting doubt on scientific research. This first part charts the fossil fuel industry’s early research on climate change and investigates the efforts to sow seeds of doubt about the science.