On ‘The Century of The Self’ Availability.
Newest development: 29 August 2013 – today I’ve posted an embed of the Vimeo post – FULL SERIES NOW AVAILABLE HERE AT THOUGHTSFROMTHEWELL: Adam Curtis’ The Century of Self (video).
Previous notes, etc: This post is about how access to this valuable series is now limited to such an extent it’s hardly available – with added notes on what it’s about. If you’re hoping to view the series, as of late August, 2013, it is now available ‘out there on the web’ only at Vimeo. Best YouTube link is 22 second post that explains “YouTube won’t allow us to show you this but you can view it at link below – and in ‘post info text’ gives the Vimeo link!!
My computer system has ‘issues’ with Vimeo videos – slow to load, and long buffering pauses. If viewing re-appears on YouTube, I’ll post the new link here. At present it looks as if YouTube has successfully reduced Century of Self to very small ‘snippets’ posted by an assortment of people.
When someone visits one of my blog posts published some time ago, I often ‘follow their lead’ and go the the post again. Sometimes I find I’d like to make editing changes. Sometimes I find an editing change is essential – such as a link that no longer works. I don’t find many ‘bad’ links but when I do, I try to find a working link immediately, or to in some other way refer readers to what I hoped they’d find at the link I gave.
Unfortunately, one of my favorite, most ‘revered’ links is now almost (but not quite) unavailable. Adam Curtis’s “The Century of The Self” BBC mini-series has practically vanished!
I’ve posted links to this excellent – even critically important – series “all over the place”. Links to this series are embedded in a number of my posts and pages. I’ve also posted links in comments sections of much social media in the last several years.
I’m not the only one who’s done so. Many, MANY people value Curtis’s The Century of the Self as an essential ‘quick trip’ into our own psychology, into understanding how our impulses work and are manipulated.
I personally think a copy of the series belongs in every home, along with the proverbial ‘bible and Shakespeare’ that at one time were always named as essential. I think every person from age 14 to 104 should see it today if they’ve not seen it before. I think every middle school teacher should share it with students for discussion. The Century of The Self should be reviewed in secondary school, as well as at least once in post-secondary education or by every person entering the work force, even if they don’t continue formal schooling.That’s how important I believe the series is!
This summer I’ve learned the documentary has been removed from a few ‘free documentary’ websites for reasons of copyright disputes. I don’t know if the dispute is with the series, perhaps infringement on rights of BBC, or with material used within the series. But at one time, Century of Self was widely and freely available. Now it is not.
Today, (6 August 2013) I’ve researched it’s availability. I post this, and will eventually set it up as a page, so that I can from now on reference this information rather than try to summarize and re-summarize every time I find another ‘bad’ link I may have posted to the series in a published piece.
Here’s what I’ve learned re availability of The Century of The Self series:
Still Available: (Late August 2013 changes noted above with bold link to Vimeo) Am leaving these in case video becomes available again on YouTube. Vimeo and ‘topdocumentaryfilms’ links here are same as above.)
- NO LONGER AVAILABLE (late August, 2013), The Century of Self on YouTube:
- YouTube 22 second – ‘not available’ notice – post re-directs to Vimeo.
- FREE – STILL AVAILABLE (for time being) Adam Curtis: The Century of Self on Vimeo.
- ALSO: Free and available (for time being) The Century of Self at TopDocumentaryFilms, (An embedded Vimeo presentation so …)
Offered but NOT available – (Lets us realize how ‘unavailable’ this series has become! Many who’ve linked to the series to ‘spread the word’ of its value are like me until very recently. They don’t realize viewing is largely blocked.) – plus some sites with only notes on the series:
- No longer available at freedocumentaries.org, (one of my favorite Century of Self links – posted ‘everywhere’, The site remains excellent for other documentaries)
- Focus on The Century of Self series with excellent brief ‘per episode’ summaries – but viewing is blocked. (CharlesFrith.blogspot.com).
- Extensive notes on the value of the Century of Self series. (Video links not-working), with a reminder the series is available via Amazon. (TheNewIQ.com)
- Very (VERY) extensive notes on each of the 4 programs in the series here, (Pialogue.info/books)
- Netflix: – not available – I don’t subscribe to Netflix but found this when searching for “purchase dvd of Century of self”. Very strange – read what Netflix users say about Century of Self and it’s ‘non-availability’! (Netflix user comments on The Century of the Self).
- IMBD (a well-known Amazon film company) offers this on The Century of Self: (Imdb.com)
- BBC archive notes here on The Century of the Self, (BBC web archive).
- Wikipedia notes on The Century of The Self.
- I tried to locate a supplier to purchase the series on DVD other than Amazon (who it seems to me already have enough market share) but could not.
Additional: Copyright issues and intent of series author, Adam Curtis:
(1)The best information I can find without spending hours and hours searching is that there is a copyright dispute by BBC Worldwide in the second hour of the series, (“Due to a copyright claim on the second part of this series, made by BBC Worldwide …”) is noted by several who’ve posted on YouTube.
(2) Note on Adam Curtis intent with the series: While trying to track down information on why the once widely viewable series is now so unavailable, I coincidentally caught comments that the series “shows how an elite manipulates us”. This is NOT how I understood the series, and from what Adam Curtis, (documentarian who made the series) says, it is also not what he meant to explore.
Adam Curtis describes his intentions here. (Scroll down to “Dear David I’ll answer the points you made in your letter to me but first I just wanted to make a point ….”)
Why – if you’ve not seen this series – you ‘should’ give yourself 4 hours to view it. (Or take it in portions.)
From what I understood (and understand from other studies also) us human folk – all of us – are hard-wired geared in ways that let us respond to assorted manipulations (and to use these on one another). Everything I’ve observed, learned, and experienced in human behavior supports this understanding.
The series to me is not about ‘bad guys and victims’ . It’s more a head’s up that “we” – us human folk – are both. The series helps us be more aware of how and why language and image manipulations work,. It invites us to consider how and why language and images are so powerful an influence.
To the extent we understand this about ourselves – about everyone, including ourselves – we can develop greater self-guiding wisdom. With better understanding of normal psychology built into our human-ness, we can more directly confront and reject manipulations that come our way.
(Or we can more easily reject manipulations we deliver to ourselves in our own thoughts! We have many ‘self-reinforcing manipulations’ due to our exposure to, and unexamined acceptance of, “popular truths”!)
I don’t know if anyone or several of us can appeal to BBC to allow this series to again be widely and freely distributed, (I certainly can’t tackle that project today), but I do think it would be a valuable contribution to do so, and for BBC to allow its free, wide, viewing.
In the meantime, and perhaps even if the series becomes available on-line, we can consider purchasing copies, sharing them, donating them to schools and public libraries, etc.
My Best! -MaggieAnn
Yes, I know I’m inconsistent in the title – ranging from a simple “Century of Self” to “The Century of The Self”. Other sources also are inconsistent in this – so I’ve decided to ‘be OK’ with it myself unless I find someday I have absolutely nothing in all the world’s choices to do but edit for consistency in giving the title of this series!) 🙂