The idea I want to look at for my first few blog posts is this: we now live in an age where simulations of reality have overtaken the reality itself. The imitations of real things are now seen as more ‘real’ than the original objects we began with. Losing your attention with this technical stuff?
To give an example which makes things clearer: pornography. Got your attention now. Porn simulates the real act of having sex. But it is not an exact copy – there are certain different things. These are mainly based on sacrificing the tactile and over-emphasising the visual. Porn has changed our sex lives; a simulation has changed the reality of our lives – so it is now more real than the real.
In my second blog post, I’m going to do some...research...into if and how porn has changed the reality of sex. After that, I’m going to look at a couple more instances in modern life that are now realer than real: computer games and processed food. Then I’m gonna reflect on these three topics and think about what all this ‘realer than real’ stuff means.
These questions will include: if things aren’t real now, were they ever real? Is this then part of some bigger process about the way things change? Is this a good or bad thing? What does it mean for us?
Another note: In this blog, I’m going to try and steer clear of technical, academic style writing. I want to talk about everyday things in everyday language – even if I am applying complex concepts to them. Instead, I’ll leave a footnote on where some of these ideas come from, and where are the best places to read more about them.
So, in this case, these ideas come from the work of Jean Baudrillard. He talks about simulations in far more depth (read: a lot more confusingly) – if you want to read more of Baudrillard, I recommend The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. Also,’ Simulacra and Simulation’ is more on topic for what I’m talking about, but I found that a lot less readable.