We Live In Public Takeaways
I enjoyed watching this documentary ‘We Live in Public’, throughout the film I was a little unknowing and didn’t realize the point of some of the things that occurred, but by the end of the movie it all made sense.
Josh Harris is all about innovation and experimenting new things that the average person would never consider. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him, in fact, he considers himself a wild child. He didn’t have a close relationship with his mother or father and was isolated; he felt as if he was on the television show, Gilligan Island.
It took the radio 38 years to reach 50 million people, television 13 years and internet only took 5 years. The documentary referred to the ‘.com kids’ who invested in the internet and became rich.
Josh Harris started the first internet television network, Pseudo. It was a chat room with video and also had interactive television. Although the quality was not near as good as today, in fact the people on the documentary laughed at the fact that it was 1 frame a second; it still attracted a lot of people from music, games, news and entertainment. Pseudo along with CNN and NBC was considered another “legitimate television network”. In 1999, Josh said that he was going to take CBS out of business because he had more ways of connecting with people. People thought he was insane.
He created this character ‘Luvvy’, a crazy clown. Psuedo tried to dissocialize the company from him because he began to show up to important meetings dressed as Luvvy. He ended up taking his share of the company and leaving, stating that it was just an experiment and that he was ready for something new.
“Everything is free except the video we capture, that we own”
This is when he came up with the idea of We Live In Public. The idea was that you could see what everyone does through live webcams. His idea was that this was what the world would be like in the future. Our lives exposed a quest for fame, no secrets, no privacy and that we would become detached from ourselves. Through this experiment people became brainwashed. In fact a quote from the documentary that I really enjoyed was, “Freedom turned people into beast”.
The NYPD shut this experiment down January 1st. This is when Josh and his wife decided to have 24 hour surveillance in his home for the public to see. Josh states, “In the future we will put our lives on camera for others to watch, and that if a relationship could survive in public it could survive anywhere.”
Ultimately, this idea of 24 hour surveillance created alienation. From an argument that him and his girlfriend had, it was clear that arguing in public was about ego. In fact, the documentary showed the argument, and directly after both rushed to their computers to see peoples view points on the fight. After Josh and his girlfriend separated, Josh suggested that a lot of divorced people should have lived in public.
Josh goes on to having an apple farm, by himself. He talks a lot about his mother not being there for him, even in his darkest moments and creates a very interesting video, ‘Goodbye mom.’
In 2005, audio video became possible, Myspace and Facebook became the ‘fame’ that people wanted and just as Josh envisioned.
He tried to create ‘Operator 11’, a site that lets you create your own show. Myspace didn’t buy into his vision. In this situation Josh is the change agent, and the Myspace rep. that he was meeting with would be considered the opinion agent. From what the documentary showed, he walked into the meeting very unprofessional and wasn’t afraid to have his cockiness attitude about himself. This was just the type of person Josh was.
In 2008, Josh moved to Ethopia, a place he considers to be the richest culture in the world. Here he coached basketball and considered himself “well spiced.”
Josh Harris was once worth 80 million dollars, now negative 150. He had a sense of innovation about him and always looked into what the internet would be like in the future, some would consider him too futuristic. Although no one believed him and thought he was very odd, he was right. People enjoy attention and feedback. We have grown to have this notice me, look at me attitude through the use of the internet.