Technology has the power to make life better. It also has the power to destroy it. Technology can even make nerds rich. In the following tech documentaries, you'll learn all about the upside and downside of information technology and maybe start appreciating your nerdy selves. 

"Download: The True Story of the Internet"

The internet made a lot of ordinary young geeks rich in its early days. Join legions of nerd tycoons such as the founders of Ebay, Google and Amazon in this 2008 documentary film hosted by John Heilemann. You won't hear them laughing at all the pathetic little peasants who gave them wedgies in high school, but you will learn a lot about the birth and growth of the world wide web. Heilemann is a journalist who seemed to frequent all the Silicon Valley nerd parties back in the day. 

"Architects of Control"

Do you like wacky conspiracies? How about real ones? You'll love this documentary, produced by Michael Tsarion, that explores the current and past technological capabilities of the human race. The film takes this info and then speculates about a possible hellish future of human cyborgs living in the stables of a gigantic GMO farm called Earth. 

"Hackers Are People, Too"

Here's a film that is not only about hackers. It's made by hackers. If you've ever wondered about the culture of these secretive and shadowy figures of the online world, this is your chance to learn straight from the horse's mouth. These nerds hope to break the stigma associated with hacker culture and show you that they're just like you. A large portion of the 2008 film is on location at two hacker conventions. 

"The Machine That Changed the World"

1992 was ages ago, but all you retrogeeks will appreciate this computer history film of the same year. Learn about the entire history of computers from its beginnings to just before the days of "You've Got Mail." This multi-part PBS series features early interviews with Steve Jobs and some great info about the lunar landing. Parts four and five cover artificial intelligence and speculation about the future of the internet that barely anyone was plugged into at the time. 

"Modern Marvels: Surveillance Technology"

Did you know that The Man can listen to your most intimate conversations from a mile away? He may even be listening to your most twisted thoughts from 6,000 miles away for all you know. This History Channel technology documentary from 2004 will enlighten you about what has been possible in the past, what is possible now and what is quite possible in the future. A good thriller may make you jump into mommy and daddy's bed for a night or two, but this film will give you the heebeejeebees for life. That is, until the Golden Age of Light wipes out all those darn lizard rulers from outer space and the whole world looks like a Grateful Dead parking lot scene with veggie burritos for all. Bet you can't wait. 

"Big Brother, Big Business"

Those corporate plutocrats are still at it. They're stalking you electronically when you rent cars from them. They're spying on you at work. Soon they'll be scanning the barcode on your forehead for whatever reason. This 2006 CNBC special, hosted by David Faber, takes you on a journey that will leave you feeling that you've been farmed.