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Steven Johnson: The Long Zoom

Steven Johnson began his long zoom survey with the "prior art" of Joyce's Stephen Daedalus locating himself in himself, his neighborhood, Dublin, on out to the universe. The value of a long zoom is in identifying and employing every scale between the very large and very small, noticing how they change each other when held in the mind at the same time.

Johnson point out that we are learning to master complexity, to revel in long zooms like Google Earth or the forthcoming Will Wright game, "Spore." A few years ago, Johnson was introducing his 7-year-old nephew to to Wright's early video game, "Sim City" — "Ooh, look at the big buildings!" Shortly, Johnson's factory district was failing. His nephew piped up. "Lower your industrial tax rate," said the child.

Speaker: Steven Johnson
Director: Chris Baldwin, Shoulder High Productions
Producer: Stewart Brand and The Long Now Foundation
Studio: Whole Earth Films
DVD FORMAT: NTSC, Widescreen
Region: All Regions
Language: English
Number of discs: 1
Rating: Unrated
Release date: May 11, 2007
Duration: 86 minutes

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