Skip to main content

tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  January 29, 2019 12:00am-1:01am PST

12:00 am
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & company." here is what's coming up. has the west forgotten how to win wars? general stanley mblg crystal say the u.s. and allies need to adapt to survive. >> then -- a voice that saw us to the moon and back. legendary opera singer place do domingo sits down to talk about his record breaking career. digital age, why technology which once brought us together is now tearing us apart.
12:01 am
uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & company." when bea tollman first began she didn't know her recipes would make her way to the river line. her locally inspired cuisine is served touring through europe, asia, india and egypt. according according to bea, to travel is to eat. for more information visit additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, sue and edgar wachenheim iii. cheryl and philip milstein family. judy and josh weston, jpb foundation and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to the program,
12:02 am
everyone. i'm chris yaristiahri christian. president trump's 35 day standoff with congress sucked up the attention at home. while abroad alliances rece s shaky grounds. author argues while america retreats russia and china arise and terrorist expand their reach. basically that chaos is the normal. the new book, new rules of war, victory in the age of durable disorder. as part of the 82nd airborne division his officer was one stanley mcchrystal. the head of u.s. and international forces in afghanistan and himself a brilliant military strategist. he even wrote the forward to
12:03 am
miss book. i've been changing the changing face of war with them and why the west is playing catchup. welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me. >> i'm really interested it. here is a book, sean, you've written, general mcchrystal has done the forward to. i'm just learning you were both in the same battalion in the 82nd airborne but you, general, were the commander, his commander. >> i was the old map, which they never said to my face but behind my back. >> sean, when you came to write this book about the changed face of warfare, was it inevitable you would get him to write the forward and why? >> it was inevitable i would ask him to. he said yes. he was my mentor, a great leader. for the last 25 years, i've always asked myself, if he was in my position, what would he do
12:04 am
or say. his acumen about the future of war inspired me many ways on what we think about warfare. >> let me ask you, general mcchrystal, what is it you say most of your time in the field coincided and now for sure with war changing its face dramatically. war is very, very different than what we saw, let's say the last big ground war, which was world war ii. >> that's right. i entered the military, left west point in '76. it was really a world ii construct and mind-set even though korea and vietnam in the interim. we were a bit in denial and turned toward war in europe again. the reality is what we've carried forward with is exactly that. most of the cultural pulls during my career were back to big unit operations, high technology equipment, things like that. yet what i ran into in iraq and
12:05 am
afghanistan belied that. it reinforced the idea not only going into counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism but even different in an information age which sean captures so perfectly in this book. it's this chaos we've got to learn how to operate in. >> sean, the subtitle of your book is "victory in the age of durable disorder." what does that mean? give me some examples of durable disorder. >> we live in an era where entropey is the norm. powerful nation states the way we were taught in grammar school, war is run -- global order is run other ways. ways we've seen before in the middle ages. the idea is we should not go around and try to rebuild a liberal world order as it seemed
12:06 am
to be in the 1950s. that's humpty dumpty. that's over. what we need to do is adapt to the way the new system works and war changes with it. war has moved on but we have not. that's why i wrote this book. >> you also say, and it's quite troubling from a western perspective, since we are in the west here, the west has forgotten how to win wars. why are western powers seemingly losing to inferior loosely aligned militants, insurgents, terrorists, however you want to describe the current enemy. >> right. this is essential question. we have the very best military. we have the best troops, the best technology, the best weapons. we have the most resources. so what's the problem? the problem is that we have a culture that doesn't ask leaders to reckon strategy with adaptability, that we are strategically lacking and
12:07 am
lagging. our enemies and adversaries have grasped the new rules of war but we have not. that's why we struggle. >> the new rules, let me ask you, general mcchrystal, you came across it face-to-face, i guess first in iraq, really, in a major way going off to aqim, al qaeda, mesopotamia, abu was in charge of that. how is it the west is flat footed. >> it's changed in a number of ways. when you think of a startup company, it adapts to conditions it has to adapt to. it's innovative, it must be, because that benefits its position. al qaeda in iraq started with the name of al qaeda. but in fact they were based on an information technology backbone that allowed them to be much faster. as a consequence, they threw out the rule book and top down
12:08 am
control. they adapted constantly. it made them very resilient. almost like a startup company that nips at a big company, they were able to constantly change. we had these extraordinary capabilities. unless we were willing to fight the war they gave us, not the one we wanted to fight, they were going to lose. the experience of forcing the counter-terrorist forces to change changed my thinking dramatically. i think sean has captured that. >> can you just say, if you can, in a nutshell how you adapted to defeating, degrading significantly al qaeda in iraq. >> we spread ourselves out. small groups. instead of just sending them out to operate independently we connected everybody with information technology so it became like the human brain but not controlled by one person in the tower saying where things go. instead letting the organism figure out what needs to be done
12:09 am
and then doing it. then you can supervise that from above because you now have the visibility. it's eyes on, hands off leadership. >> so again, sean, stan mcchrystal talks a lot about technology, i.t., how for a while aqim was outwitnessing the west by their use of i.t. and spreading the message and building nimble on the ground. you talk in your book about technology, a, not being the savior for modern warfare. high-powered very expensive fighter aircraft systems or other parts. what is it we need to know about technology and also about the real cyber war? >> well, when you ask people about the future of war, what they usually describe is world war ii with better technology. and if there's one thing we can learn in the past 70 years of warfare is this, technology is not decisive. you look at the french and
12:10 am
indochina, algeria, british and palestine, israel, america, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, soviets in afghanistan. all these cases you had a strong technologically advanced military losing or struggling against luddites. we put too much faith in our technology. we have the f-35, the program costs more -- it costs $1.5 trillion. that's more than russia's gdp. it few combat missions in two long wars. the measure of any weapon is its utility. so we're investing more in f-35s, yet weapons that work like special operations forces, et cetera, those units are spread thin everywhere all the time because they are in need. we need what they can give us. so we have sort of things backward in the way we look at
12:11 am
strategy and the structure of the military. one of the reasons i wrote this book is to correct that. look, in the future, the weapons -- one of the rules is the most important weapons don't fire bullets. >> yes. well, this brings us to a whole other can of worms. in my experience as a war correspondent started with big piece technology, air power and tanks and all of it in the first gulf war. then it was little insurgencies and counter-insurgencies and finally big counter-insurgency in iraq. all i know is governments don't want to commit forces. they want to be able to, general mcchrystal, rely as much as they can on air power, because they are so terrified of the political consequences of kias, soldiers being killed, that that seems to be what they rely on. >> yeah, and that's a mistake. the reality is you cannot
12:12 am
replace what a person gets from walking on the ground. as a war corporate, you oftyou than the military did because you were down there walking. it craves that kind of understanding. that's where people matter. they can be enabled by technology, information technology, but it's the people on the ground interacting and learning that give us the real edge. >> let me move onto this issue of smarter minds. you're basically saying that there's little sort of replacement for human intelligence on the ground and the human workforce rather than the aircraft and all the other technology. but what i was amazed about in the book, you say one of the rules of the future is don't keep thinking about hearts and minds, sean. we lived -- we've been raised on the mother's milk of hearts and minds. if you don't win hearts and minds, you're not going to win period.
12:13 am
you say that's not right. >> it's very attractive, right? we're all from democracies. and the idea of winning people and their hearts and minds matter to us in a democratic west. but it doesn't work as a strategy and here is why. the strategic logic behind hearts and minds is that populations are bribable. they are not. can you imagine if, say, china goes to detroit and says we will get you free health clinics, we'll build you schools, we'll build you a soccer and football stadium but we want you to become communists. detroit would say, we'll take all your stuff but we're not going to become communists. this the problem behind hearts and minds, populations are not bribable. >> general mcchrystal, translate that into what you saw on the ground in iraq and, of course, afghanistan. theoretically when you got to
12:14 am
afghanistan, it was meant to be peace theoretically. you had won the war, al qaeda on the run, taliban on the run, yet it was mighty hard bribing the population and getting the hearts and minds on board. >> yeah, it was. but here is where i diverge from sean a bit. i think ultimately it is about hearts and minds. i think in the near term it's not. i think that what you have to first do is shape people's behavior. think when you went to school and you were forced to do certain things. then you find yourself 20 years later believing in values and habits you were forced to do. i think in the near term you've got to create behaviors, sometimes enforce them of people. but in the long-term, people want a better future. they vote, they support. if they think they are going to have something better than they do right now. in some cases if it's just security, they will follow a leader that's legitimate although frustrating to them who might be autocratic.
12:15 am
in the long-term what the united states has been god at doing is offering a better future, that you can have a society a bit more like us. look at the power of our entertainment industry. the power of our cultural reach around the world. those are the things that i think are hearts and minds. and so we can't just say hearts and mind doesn't work and we're going to use a male fist. >> yet counter-insurgency, the coin counter-insurgency paradigm, sean writes, and actually i've heard senior military commander saying, in order to win it's not about hearts and minds, it's about brutal overwhelming force. and that's what we saw against isis, that's what we've seen against, you know, these groups in iraq and syria right now. >> well, i think that's partly true. i think if you look at what happened in iraq is the sunnis came to the conclusion we were
12:16 am
less of a threat to them than the shia were. they made a decision to move that way. i think that, yeah, there's brutal force, but there's a downside to brutal force. one, over time it build up this scar tissue and resentment i don't think is durable. second, it does something to us. i think what it does to us is something we need to consider as well. >> that's really interesting. sean, let me ask you, because you write about this in the book and we see now lots of articles about the rise during the trump era of a much more transactional, mercenary kind of sort of boots for hire, guns for hire on the ground. we're hearing about black water rising again, the famous erik prince mercenary operation and others. you yourself spent some time as a mercenary in africa, is that correct? >> i was a private military contractor in africa. >> the difference is?
12:17 am
>> the difference is perspective. i was an sarmd civilian doing paramilitary things so traditionally you could say that's a mercenary, a contractor. what's happening is this industry is on the rise global worldwide. it's one of the huge security trends not being covered generally in the media. we're seeing mercenaries in yemen, syria, iraq, you know, ukraine, in nigeria. mercenaries are coming back into modern warfare. this will challenge and change warfare and global order as we know it. >> just quickly why is that? is it because governments u.s. administration or federation do not want to put their own people in the firing line? is that what it's all about? or they don't want to spend the money like donald trump busy
12:18 am
repatriating with drawing troops all over the place. >> you mentioned how leaders don't want to have dead marines coming home in body bags. that's a political concern. they are outsourcing war. this is not just a u.s.-uk phenomenon. russia is using something called the vogner group, a powerful mercenary corporation fighting in syria and elsewhere. the other reason, this is one of the new rules of war, we live in a global information age where plausible deniability can be as powerful or more powerful than firepower. mercenaries offer plausible deniability. >> what is quickly before i turn to stan mcchrystal on this. what is the downside of let's say an erik prince, blackwater just colliding with the sweet-spot of the administration. the president's instincts himself. is there a downside to gazillions of black water types
12:19 am
being sent to fight in syria, iraq, or wherever the u.s. is engaged now? >> there's a multiplicity of down sides. so erik prince, the founder of blackwater, his sister is betsy devos, secretary of education. he's proposing this plan where all american troops in afghanistan get replaced by mercenari mercenaries. he thinks 6500 mercenaries can fix afghanistan. it can't. that's dangerous thinking. worse than that, if the u.s. continues to do this, it legitimizes it for the rest of the world. we're getting to a point where we don't want to be a nation where we have foreign mercenaries fighting our war for us. if that's the case we've lost our way and a bigger question than mercenaries alone. >> that's interesting. i do have to point out it really sort of begs believe they would
12:20 am
get citizenship. they can't give citizenship to current locals in iraq who risked their lives being translators and associating themselves with the u.s. government and u.s. military. let me ask you about russia. russia that been using the little green men. whether it's in syria or most famously intro ukraine. general mcchrystal, that's worked for russia in a way. tell me your analysis of them. >> i think it's worked brilliantly because they do it. people know they do it. they know people know they do it. yet they can just maintain the stone wall so they get the positive effect of what the force can do but also the intimidation. people know it's kind of like the mob murders somebody and they deny it. everybody knows the mob did it so they fear the mob more. i think it's been a very
12:21 am
effective technique. >> can i ask you both, you, general mcchrystal, have written about leadership before. this is very top of your mind. defense secretary, former general mattis resigned over a point of principle with the president's policy in syria. this whole idea of with drawing the troops. tell me about that tell me about the defense secretary resigning over this. tell me what the withdrawal order means for the united states and for syria right now. >> i think on the surface any military leader or secretary of defense if they disagree with the policy just on the surface, and yet they are ordered to do it, that we reflexively do it. however, i think what we saw with secretary mattis was a cumulative conclusion that he reached that he was so misaligned with the president's overall objectives, how he was dealing with the world and his techniques that he determined he couldn't effectively work with him anymore. i think that's a different problem.
12:22 am
that's a more fundamental and concerning problem in terms of how the president interacts with senior leaders and the processes he uses to make important decisions. >> now, you've been involved in the famous spat, the president counter-tweeted against something you said. we're not going to go into that. but what is your professional opinion about this kind of precipitous announcement and the beginning of the withdrawal of troops from syria and the desire to withdraw from afghanistan? >> yeah. what i'd say is every american shouldn't just listen to retired generals say what they think. they ought to stop, look in the mirror and decide what they think. how would it work in the school they teach in, the business they teach in or whatever they do if the leaders did something without consultation and suddenly announced things like that. i think it would be concerning to them. that's what i'd ask us all to
12:23 am
think about. >> let me finish with you, sean, what i find really, really interesting in some of the analysis, you give examples of cassandras, who has been absolutely correct only to be laughed off the stage, so to speak. give me a few. >> general mitchell, an american aviator in world war i and he saw the future. the future was air power. when he kept on saying to the 1920s to the u.s. military this is the case and that an airplane can destroy a dread naught off the stage. it was a motorized cage. he said japan will launch a secret attack by aircraft plane and aircraft carrier in honolulu
12:24 am
and he was court martialed for this. >> twenty odd years before it happened. >> another, a british colonel fuller who saw the power of tanks. back then tanks were seen as motorized fox holes. they were infantry support things. they imagined a future of war 1920s where infantry moved forward and a tank slowly behind it. what fuller saw was airplanes and tanks working together to go deep into enemy territory. he was laughed off the stage by the british but the germans were paying attention and they created blitz based on fuller. we have other examples, too. william j. olson, young professor in war college in the 1980s. he saw the future of a post 9/11 world but was not taken
12:25 am
seriously. we have people who see the future. more often than not, they are not taken seriously and we need to think about why. >> just to wrap this up, do you as a commander in the field, general mcchrystal, do you think these rules that have been written about by sean and you've done the forward have any hope of being enacted and implemented any time soon? >> i do. what will happen they will probably come in response to failures. we'll be in a conflict and what we are doing won't work, similar to my experience in iraq. we change completely how my organization worked. not because i was a visionary but because we were losing and had to iterate. i fear what will happen is we will learn these things through bitter failure and problems. it's really a whole of government approach, a whole of nation approach that sean is talking to. it's not just reforming the military. it's reforming the mind in the age of which war is kind of an ugly subcomponent.
12:26 am
>> almost a permanent subcomponent these days. general mcchrystal, sean mcfate, thank you very much, indeed, for joining me. >> thank you, christiane. >> we go from war to peace and a voice that brought people joy for more than half a century. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> placido domingo is the most successful opera singer of all time. the tenor's voice only matched by his tireless work ethic and longevity, smashing all the records with more than 150 roles. he has also helped make opera more accessible and popular as one of the legendary three tenors. at 78, though, domingo isn't retiring, he's reinventing himself from soaring tenor to very deep baritone.
12:27 am
from romantic hero to fathers and villains. now he's playing la traviata at london's royal opera house and he's bringing down the house. we caught up with him between curtain calls. placido domingo, welcome to the program. >> i'm so happy to be with you. >> we're very happy to have you. you've broken every record known to the opera world. you're here in london doing la traviatea. how important is it for you at this stage in your career to be doing this opera in london. >> one of the great opera houses. i have been singing since it was '71. '71 was my debut. i have been coming very often, you know. la traviata, as you know, i've
12:28 am
been over a half century singing tenor repertoire. but now in the last eight years or nine, i have been singing baritone roles. the part of the baritone in la traviata, but i used to sing the son, now i sing the father. but it's one of the most beautiful duets with the father. you can say it's the heart of la traviata, that duet and i love it. >> you used to play alfredo as a tenor and now you play the dad as a baritone. >> yes. >> how does that sit with you. >> yes. >> it's not necessarily a choice. as you get older your voice changed. >> i sang so much. i did a whole career as a tenor doing all the repertoire i could do. i find out when it would be the
12:29 am
time to leave the career, i realize my voice was in good shape. but of course the tenor is quite higher. i find my voice was healthy. then i start singing the baritone roles, and i feel very, very confident. i have done like 10 different baritone roles, and i'm adding more characters. so i'm enjoying it. >> what you're saying is as the critics have said, it's not just unusual, it's unprecedented. have you performed more roles than anybody in the history of op opera. i think you're on your 150th role, is that right? the previous role is 50 or 60. nobody has come anywhere close to that. >> i was always very curious about different repertoire.
12:30 am
i tell you, there is so much music in this world that i would need three or four lives to accomplish all of that i would like to sing. it's so amazing. >> not to put too fine a point on it but you're 78 years old. opera stars don't last until they are 78 years old. "the new york times" wrote it's as if tom brady was still winning super bowl in his '60s while playing three sports at once. have you ever thought about retiring? >> i know it will arrive, you know, but i have such a deep life with music, singing, conducting. i'm also the general director of the opera in los angeles. of course one of the things of my heart very deep and very close is the competition which we have been doing it 26 years
12:31 am
already. i'm so proud. a big, big percentage of the big stars, big names around the world, they have been coming out for this. operalia. ♪ >> right now they want to star in oman. >> oman? the persian gulf? >> yes. >> and also in beijing also. >> you know, if you go all the way back to the three tenors, when you were first with them, just describe that. what was it like when you get with them in rome.
12:32 am
♪ >> the stories that jose one year was out of syncing because he was having leukemia. he was treated in seattle. you know, it was very difficult time. he came back. >> he survived. >> we want to welcome him back, so we organized this concert. it was wonderful. we had a lot of fun. we thought it was going to be only once. but then there were a lot of requests. we did close to 30 concerts, you know. >> not just that, you sold tens of millions of albums. and you're credited with really
12:33 am
making opera something that ordinary people suddenly understood, liked, and came to. >> i think many, many people discover opera because of listening to the three tenors, you know. >> how does that make you feel? >> that makes me feel very happy and very proud. those were wonderful days. >> you recently celebrated 50 years of performing at the metropolitan opera in new york. >> yes. >> this fall there was an event to celebrate that. >> yes. >> you got to your knees and touched the stage during your performance there to mark that. it must have been really emotional. that's almost like a prayer. it's almost like an act of worship. >> i don't know if you have something that when you're out of the studio and you're going to come back, you touch something, you say to the camera, i hope i see you tomorrow, i hope i see you next week. when i finish my performances,
12:34 am
the certainty of the metropolitan, los angeles, i go and i kneel on the stage, and i pray and i sing. if i know what i'm going to sing the next time, i sing the first phrase of that opera. if i don't know, i simply vocalize. i sing a little bit. it's a tradition that i have keep all my career. >> we're not in an opera house and it's not the he said of the performance, do you fancy singing a few bars now? >> if i was going to sing next time traviata like i am going to do it now, i would go on my knees and say -- ♪ ♪ and i will make the cross, and i will pray that i will be back in the theater singing. that's what i have. if not, i just sing anything. >> that was pretty amazing.
12:35 am
that was pretty amazing what you just did. take me back to where it all began. you were born in madrid. >> yes. >> your parents were both singers of the spanish opera. >> yes. >> what is it called? [ speaking spanish ] >> it is very good music. not as deep as the opera. the difference is that in most of them there's no tragedy. there's a triangle, two women love the same man or two men and they love the same girl. >> you loved so much listening to your parents in that whole environment, that made you at that time want to be a singer, an opera singer? >> i start to know a little later about opera. then i went to audition. they told me, yes, you can sing opera. i started and here i am.
12:36 am
>> here you are 50 years later. but there's a lot of roads that brought you to here including obviously when you were young your parents moved to mexico, you moved to mexico. i believe you did your first professional debut in 1959 in mexico city. >> yeah, yeah, that's right. >> then several years later, again about mexico, you were abroad performing and there was a massive earthquake in mexico city. and the whole world remembers it. i remember where i was when that earthquake happened. for you it was very personal. you had family members -- >> yes. >> -- who were caught in that, and you rushed back. >> unfortunately i lost four relatives. and you know, being there, i mean, it was really terrible. because we came back every day. my auntie, her son was living
12:37 am
there. the brother of my auntie and my mother and the wife. and then i realized there was a lot of people there that know only they lost the relatives. they have lost either their parents, or parents there lost their children, and they don't have anything, you know. so then we -- then we decide to do something, you know. i stay quite a lot of time there. and then the whole year we were making concerts, you know, to support the people. >> you decided to do concerts that benefited the people of that community. for a whole year you did that? >> yeah. >> i wonder what you think about the role of art and music and opera at any time, but particularly in turbulent times, particularly in very tense times, very difficult times and hard times. i've interviewed a few movie
12:38 am
directors, some of them got these new films focusing on art and other things. one director said that he felt focusing on art sort of gave him hope. art and the power of art was hopeful in these times. do you have any reflections on the meaning of art? >> i believe that there is something that when the public is attending a performance, an opera, a symphony, a musical, you know, in that moment they forgot -- forget about their problems. they see no differences, no races, no color, no religions. they sit nearby and they are with you. they are with you. i believe in those moments people can be relaxed, can for
12:39 am
that time they can, you know, say, well, i'm not thinking about my problems, my troubles, you know, what is going on in the world. i'm just now concentrate here. i believe at the moment a performance, if generally speaking we could help, but i don't know. i don't know. unfortunately we are living a very difficult, difficult time. >> you've once said one of your mottos is, if i rest, i rust. apparently in 1972, even in 1972, according to "the new york times," maria kalas told you that you're singing too much. what do you think she meant? >> i don't know. i think every person is different. every throat is also different. i tell you that people -- the
12:40 am
great, great artists, maybe they were happy of doing 20 operas because they were especially with that. i'm so happy i can still do it. >> and you haven't clung to -- just to the ten or. you realized when you had to change. >> yeah. >> from what i read, the tenors get all the hero roles and the bear tones don't get all the baritone roles. >> there are most of them the villains. but i'm choosing some of the characters and fathers. there are a lot of father figures. that i love. >> what do you think your legacy is? what would you like your legacy to be? >> well, very especially with the young artist program and
12:41 am
with the operalia tradition. to help develop the career of many, many, many young artists. i think the music is what i can do. of course we can all do many, many different things. there are problems in life that are many things, and they call you to help. i think that every human being can do something, you know. sometimes people say they ask them to help for something. i say what can i do? very little. nothing is too little. i mean, just a little bit of -- in the desert, a little bit of earth make a desert or a drop of water makes an ocean. but if people say, no, i cannot -- everybody can help. >> placido domingo, thank you
12:42 am
very much indeed. great pleasure. >> thank you very much. the grand old man of opera drawing ever more adoring crowds who wonder whether they will catch his last performance. our next guest, though, explores how dignity and democracy will be defined by our digital age. dougl douglas, team human, released a book with the same name. breaks down anti-human agenda from robots to algorithms. he tells our michelle martin that humanity is a team support. >> douglas, thank you for talking with us. you've written 10 books. people have have read all of them have noticed an escalating sense of urgency. what is it you're most concerned about? what scares you? what keeps you up at night? >> i guess instead of people using technology, technology is
12:43 am
using people. the orientation has changed. we don't go out olt internet to accomplish something or find someone or connect to another person but the internet is kind of this algorithmic landscape that is trying to persuade us or influence us or find our exploits and get us to act against our own better judgment. >> is that -- was there a eureka moment for you, where you came to believe it had -- technology had kind of moved from something we own to something that's owning us? >> after the dot-com crash around 2000, it looked like the internet was going to come back as a social medium. we saw blogger and facebook and i thought, oh, good. business is gone, the people are back. but these companies took so much investment that by 2007, 2008, we saw companies like facebook
12:44 am
and twitter making several billion dollars a year being called abject failures by wall street because they had peaked. the only way they could extract more money from their users was by turning kind of nasty. >> so are they the problem, or is it wall street? >> i don't think digital technology is the problem. i think the only agenda we're expressing through it right now is the growth mandate of wall street. >> if you could actually inform as opposed to reacting viscer visceral viscerally. >> it's because the business plans of the platforms themselves are designed to discourage that kind of behavior. the business plans encourage us to act as impulsively and as manipulated and passive a fashion as possible. that's fixable. that's programming. that's what -- it's funny that
12:45 am
people always think about, oh, look how the russian hackers or the brazilian hackers have gone in and done this bad stuff with american media. you know, they have not hacked the technology. they hacked the business plans. that's all we really have to change. >> i have to ask if there's any way in which you feel responsible? you were kind of an evangelist for that digital world at the beginning. i know you were kind of one lonely voice out there but one of many had really thought that digital future was going to do everything. it was going to enhance democracy. it was going to level the playing field. it was almost biblical, the oppressed were going to rise, the mighty were going to fall. >> if i regret everything, it was not telling people, come on in, the water is fine, because it was. if i regret anything, it's not understanding what was happening around '94, '95. a guy named john barrlow.
12:46 am
he wrote declaration of independence of cyberspace. in that he was saying governments of the war stay away. the internet is a free zone. we're just going to be a people-driven thing. at the time the government seemed like the enemy of the internet. they used pornography as an excuse to shut down certain kinds of websites. what i didn't realize if you get ready for government you create a free zone for the corporations. they kind of balance each other the way bacteria and fungus balance each other in your body. if you take too many antibiotics the fungus is going to come up. we got rid of the government and the internet, which was a place when i was evangelizing it, the internet was a place you had to sign an agreement saying you wouldn't do any commercial activity online. you were going to use it for research only and connect with people in noncommercial ways.
12:47 am
it became a commercial free zone. really from '95, '96, as soon as i saw where it was going, i was saying, no, no, no. this is a great thing we can do. the internet doesn't have to be the poster child for new york stock exchange. the internet can still be a people's medium. if we don't take care, we're going to lose this moment of opportunity. >> i'm going to talk more about a ted talk you gave where you elaborate on this, which was actually quite hilarious, i have to say. >> i got invited to an exclusive resort to deliver a talk about the digital future to what i assumed would be a couple hundred tech executives. i was in the greenroom waiting to go on. instead of bringing me to the stage, they brought five men into the greenroom who sat around this little table with me. they were tech billionaires. they started peppering me with
12:48 am
questions. bitcoin, visual reality or augmented reality. i don't know if they were taking bets or not. as they got more comfortable with me they edged toward their real area of concern. alaska or new zealand. that's right. these tech billionaires were askinged media theorist where to put their doomsday bunkers. we spent the hour, how do i maintain control of my security staff after the event. by the event they mean the thermonuclear war or climate catastrophe or social unrest that ends the world as we know it and more importantly makes their money obsolete. >> on the one hand, you think these guys are futurists. that's the world they live in, the world is going to end. on the other hand, the apom
12:49 am
liplip -- apocalypse, they are really smart, they aren't doing anything about it except saving themselves. is that's what's up? >> they think that's what's up. the thing that struck me, these were the wealthiest more powerful people in the world but feel utterly helpless to affect the future. they come to somebody like me to figure out what the future is inevitably going to be and then position themselves for it. the future went from this thing we created together, that's what we thought in the early internet days. we're making the future. the future is this verb, to this thing you bet on. if you're a billionaire, i'm going to take 20% of my money and hedge against -- well i'm going to hedge against the impact of what i'm doing. the sick thing about these men is they have internalized what i call the insulation equation. they want to know how much mope
12:50 am
do i have to earn in order to insulate myself from the reality i'm creating by earning money in this way. >> let me read something from the book. you said the more we experience people as dehumanized replicators of memes, the more likely we are to treat one another as piers to collaborate. combined with other styles of manipulation and triggering we ended up where success, business and dating appears on our ability to control others. social activities become entirely instrumentlized losing connection to their greater purpose under pretense of optimizing capitalabilities or broader choice we surrender real connection and meaning. we become mere instruments. i have so many questions about this. >> the hard part about this, this is why it's hard for me to talk about it in america, there's almost a spiritual argument to make here. that's dangerous to make in our scientific reality. i'm almost trying to make a mr.
12:51 am
rogers argument. you're special who you are. the more we tray to ape our machines, measure ourself with utility value rather than essential that's why i end up on panels arguing for a place for humans in the future. there are many technologists who say human beings need to pass to technology. when the sing lart comes and they are smarter then we are they are the next life form. no, we should have a place for people. people are weird and funky and strange. there's some essential value to humans. we perceive reality. we can sustain ambiguity. he said to me, oh, rushkov, you say that you're you're human. >> i said, fine, guilty. i'm on team human then.
12:52 am
i'm going to arpg human beings have some essential value. that's fighting words. >> fix this thing, douglas. figur fix it for us. what should we do, the llective we and the individual we. i notice in one article you said maybe you should get off social media. right? >> well, people should -- they really should feel at liberty to use what technologies they want and not use ones they don't want. they have to start to understand these technologies are as powerful as drugs. you know, that you're on facebook, you're on google. that's one. two, i'm really encouraging people to use whatever time they have where they are congregating with others. with other people. >> do they do it.
12:53 am
>> some experience 10 minutes with a person and they are like, oh, my gosh, this isn't so bad. >> do you ever worry about -- you and i both have children of similar age. do you ever worry who are they going to marry. are they going to be able to find people to live in that companion way that has sustained us with thousands of years of society? are they going to be able to live together? is everybody going to have separate apartments and they will text each other. >> it is tricky. it does feel like the last 500,000 years of evolution where we develop the ways to establish rapport, those are being either numbed by society or exploited by algorithms. so they have become our vulnerabilities rather than our strength. >> you are one of the people who saw the possibilities. now you are telling us about the very profound concerns.
12:54 am
what are you going to do? >> i'm going to continue believing we are in the midst of a renaissance. i still do. that's what i argued in 1994, and that's what i'm saying now. a renaissance is really the retrieval of old values and their rebirth in a new context. renaissance, means rebirth. what values do we want to retrieve and rebirth today? do we want to continue on with the ones from the last renaissance, the corporation and chartered monopoly, colonialism and power or do we -- what were the values that got repressed in the last renaissance. wholism, women, connectivity, the city, all of these sorts of things i'm saying a rebirth of these things. for me it's about understanding that you don't have to operate at scale in order to be successful. so many kids now think if i'm
12:55 am
not making the website that everybody knows, if i don't have likes from every corner of the world, that what i'm doing doesn't matter. it does. what matters is not that. what matters is are you connecting with real people because that will actually scale. >> doug lags rushkoff, it's been great making eye contact with you. >> thank you. thank you so much for what you do. >> oh, well, you're welcome. >> right now time is against us, too. that is it for us from now. thanks for watching "amanpour & company" on pbs and join ups again tomorrow night.
12:56 am
uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & co." when bea tollman founded a collection of boutique hotels, she had bigger dreams and those dreams were on the water -- a river specifically -- multiple rivers that would one day be home to uniworld river cruises and their floating boutique hotels. today that dream sets sail in europe, asia, india, egypt and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit >> additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz, sue and edgar wachenheim iii, the cheryl and philip milstein family, seton melvin, judy and josh weston. the jpb foundation and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
12:57 am
12:58 am
steves: it's no surprise that sevilla is also famous for letting loose in vibrant festivals. and we're here for the biggest of all, the april fair. for seven days each april, it seems much of sevilla is packed into its vast fairgrounds. the fair feels friendly, spontaneous, very real. the andalusian passion for horses, flamenco... [ castanets clacking ] ...and sherry is clear. riders are ramrod straight. colorfully clad señoritas ride side-saddle, and everyone's drinking sherry spritzers. women sport outlandish dresses that would look clownish all alone, but somehow brilliant here en masse. over a thousand private party tents, or casetas, line the lanes. each striped tent is a private party zone
12:59 am
of a family, club, or association. to get in, you need to know someone in the group, or make friends quickly. concepción's well connected, and, as a friend of a friend, we're in. concepcion: my caseta. steves: this is your caseta? concepcion: this is my caseta. okay? steves: because of this exclusivity, it has a real family-affair feeling. everyone seems to know everyone in what seems like a thousand wedding parties being celebrated all at the same time.
1:00 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -today on "america's test kitchen," bridget and julia unlock the secrets to show-stopping gingerbread layer cake, lisa tests stove top kettles, and keith makes bridget an updated sticky toffee pudding. it's all coming up right here,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on