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Simulacra and Simulation
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Pub Year:
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Read: 2017-11-29
Last Update: 2017-11-29

Five Sentence Abstract:

History is being rewritten, or more accurately recreated, through the eyes of film specifically and media in general. An exploration of Marshal McLuhan's "the medium is the message", is taken to new heights. Age old concepts such as the shadow, doppelganger, and the mirror are reexamined in the modern terms of clones and holograms. Universities are claimed to be on the forefront of this implosion into hyperreality since they no longer facilitate a transmission of knowledge, but instead exist to dispense diplomas in a rote fashion. Lastly nihilism and Nietzsche are discussed in relation to the lack of meaning in the modern world, but seen to themselves have no meaning.

Thoughts:

While this book is somewhat hard to read, owing to its colorful language, possible sketchy translation, and interesting sentence structure, it is well worth the effort.

It is interesting to see how, in 1995, such a complete description of the ill-effects of film and television were seen. How things like WW2 and the Vietnam war could be relived by generations that did not have the pleasure of living through them. Films like Apocalypse become the reality of the Vietnam war for every subsequent generation. These films stylise and caricature the real until no memory of the real is left. The same effect can be seen in books and television.

From the historical to the futuristic science fiction, all meaning is being lost to the fantasy. Our values are being molded by the media we can no longer discern from that which it originally represented. This leads to a blending of the fantasy and reality into an undistinguishable hyperreality.

The social implications of this are discussed in such a way that it feels prescient to the modern social media (via smart phone) crazy the world is currently caught up in. The holograms and clones seem relevant to me in this context. It seems that it would not be a great leap to equate the online personalities so many have adopted to holograms or clones, sculpted by the aforementioned media.

Universities are also looked at as being in a state (again 1995) of rot. What was once a set of institutions used to transmit knowledge to the future, and only those who were capable of receiving said knowledge, have become diploma Mills used to indoctrinate entire generation. The value of knowledge has been lost to the, temporarily, self-perpetuating value of the diploma. Teaching has been replaced by a social experience shared between the students and the faculty. This, like the allusion to social media's dominance, feels eerily on point to the current absurd going-ons in university - safe spaced and racially charged conflict.

This is one of three books that inspired the Matrix movie. This one is actually shown in the movie as a hollow book holding digital paraphernalia. The other two are Evolutionary Biology and Out of Control.

What happened 10 May 1968?

Movies

Books

Exceptional Excerpts:

the meticulous operation of technology serves as a model for the meticulous operation of the social.

Who made you king? You.

Every strategy of the universalization of differences is an entropic strategy of the system.

no longer any difference between the economic and the political

information is ending advertising

Universities are only a zone for the shelter and surveillance of a whole class

diplomas will be awarded without a 'real'-work counterpart, without an equivalence in knowledge.

Notes:

Table of Contents

The Precession of Simulacra
History: A Retro Scenario
Holocaust
The China Syndrome
Apocalypse Now
The Beaubourg Effect : Implosion and Deterrence
Hypermarked and Hypercommodity
The Implosion of Meaning in the Media
Absolute Advertising, Ground-Zero Advertising
Clone Story
Holograms
Crash
Simulacra and Science Fiction
The Animals: Territory and Metamorphoses
The Remainder
The Spiraling Cadaver
Value's Last Tango
On Nihilism

CHAPTER 1: The Precession of Simulacra

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page 24:

What is hatched in the shadow of this [nuclear] mechanism with the pretext of a maximal, "objective," threat, and thanks to Damocles' nuclear sword, is the perfection of the best system of control that has ever existed. And the progressive satellization of the whole planet through this hypermodel of security.

page 25:

page 26:
page 28:
page 29:

CHAPTER 2: History: A Retro Scenario

page 31:
page 32:

CHAPTER 3: HOLOCAUST

page 36:

CHAPTER 4: THE CHINA SYNDROME

page 38:

CHAPTER 5: APOCALYPSE NOW

page 41:

CHAPTER 6: THE BEAUBOURG EFFECT: IMPLOSION AND DETERRENCE

page 49:

CHAPTER 7: HYPERMARKET AND HYPERCOMMODITY

page 52:

CHAPTER 8: THE IMPLOSION OF MEANING IN THE MEDIA

page 55:
page 60:

CHAPTER 9: ABSOLUTE ADVERTISING, GROUND-ZERO ADVERTISING

page 61:

page 62:

page 63:

CHAPTER 10: CLONE STORY

page 70:

CHAPTER 11: HOLOGRAMS

page 74:

CHAPTER 12: CRASH

CHAPTER 13: SIMULACRA AND SCIENCE FICTION

page 82:

CHAPTER 14: THE ANIMALS: TERRITORY AND METAMORPHOSES

page 86:

CHAPTER 15: THE REMAINDER

CHAPTER 16: THE ANIMALS: TERRITORY AND METAMORPHOSES

page 98:

page 99:

CHAPTER 17: VALUE'S LAST TANGO

page 102:

CHAPTER 18: ON NIHILISM

page 106:










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