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The Most Terrifying Quotes from Werner Herzog's New Documentary

By Cindy Davis | Lists | January 20, 2016 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | January 20, 2016 |

Atlas shrugged, Herzog cried. Of all the people in the world, would we expect Werner Herzog to be the one heralding humanity’s technological doom? Of course we would. At the very least, I think we’ve learned to pay heed to his weighty words, so if you won’t listen to my warnings, for the love of gods, please listen to Werner.

“A new industry has established itself,” and as so many science fiction books and movies have warned, it will be the instrument of our doom. This is not Chappie. These are not reindeer. The fun and games are over, and the next evolutionary step has already happened; the real question is: Is it too late? Upon first viewing of Herzog’s deceptively low-key trailer full of soft spoken technologists, you might not comprehend how alarming their statements actually are; that’s what I’m here for.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (AKA Wake the Fuck Up) is a wordy title, and we’ve trained our minds to skip over thoughts that go too long (*coughTwitter*). But, this is no meditative dream-state, technology is our reality. And where Herzog — who considers himself an outsider to computers, the internet, AI, etc. — takes us so shall we roam. The filmmaker calls his exploration “the first coherent tour around the horizons of the internet,” and with it he will snap us out of our collective lull. Hopefully. Here are a few of the most terrifying quotes:

“This one named Chimp is testing its limbs on its own.”


On its own, as in, doesn’t need us. And once it’s good to go, it’ll build friends. You know the rest of the story.

“I can not only imagine artificial intelligence evolving spontaneously on the internet, but I can’t tell you that it hasn’t happened already. Because it wouldn’t necessarily reveal itself to us.”


While Chimp up there is simply building a physical army, some mindbot out on the interwebs has already written up the new world order, and it doesn’t include humans.

“Will our children’s children’s children need the companionship of other humans, or will they have evolved in a world where that’s not important?”


Children? What children?


This quote about not needing human companionship may be the saddest thing i’ve ever thought about.

Herzog: “Do you love it [the robot]?”

Guy holding robot: “Yes, I do. We do love Robot 8.”


“I mean, you can really bring down the whole infrastructure by bringing down the network.”


We are all connected, and the things that keep our lives going are all connected; it’s entirely too easy for that house of cards to be blown down.

“So, what would happen initially is, communications as we know it would stop.”


“All of us collectively have to become the guardians of this fragile new world.”


We can’t even stop shooting each other, or nominate non-white people for movie awards. We’re still too busy ripping down the crumbly old world to be responsible for anything new.

Here’s the previous trailer:

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World features interviews with Elon Musk, Bob Kahn and Kevin Mitnick; it premieres at the Sundance Film Festival January 23rd.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)