Presentation on theme: "Challenging Simulacra and Simulation: Baudrillard in The Matrix."— Presentation transcript:
Challenging Simulacra and Simulation: Baudrillard in The Matrix
What is Challenging Simulacra and Simulation about? Summary – Describes Baudrillard’s theories – Attacks said theories – Explains their relevance to The Matrix and where The Matrix departs from said theories – Gives advice
Baudrillard’s theories “A [substitution of] the signs of the real for the real…” Nihilism – Reference in The Matrix – Spectrum of beliefs encompassing: that “traditional values and beliefs are unfounded… [and] that existence is meaningless and absurd” that objective truth does not exist that “social conditions are so bad as to make their destruction by violence desirable”
Nihilism in Simulacra and Simulation that “traditional values and beliefs are unfounded… [and] that existence is meaningless and absurd” – ‘”reality” has ceased to exist, having vanished in a haze of images and simulations’ – ‘the postmodern world is devoid of meaning… everything is on the surface, and nothing is stable or permanent’ ‘Theories that can’t latch on to anything real are ultimately meaningless’
Nihilism in Simulacra and Simulation that objective truth does not exist – ‘Simulacra have become reality! …The simulacrum now hides, not the truth, but the fact that there is none’
Nihilism in Simulacra and Simulation that “social conditions are so bad as to make their destruction by violence desirable” – ‘[Baudrillard writes that he is] a terrorist and nihilist in theory as the others are with their weapons. Theoretical violence, not truth, is the only resource left [him]’ – Links to The Matrix – Zion rebels in the Matrix?
Detmer’s criticism of Simulacra and Simulation ‘I, for one, find Baudrillard to be a consistently sloppy thinker, readily given to hyperbole and exaggeration, non sequiturs and logical inconsistencies, the routine misappropriation of scientific concepts and theories, the ignoring of counterarguments and counterevidence, the issuing of sweeping generalizations that obliterate needed qualifications and nuances, and to hiding the weak spots in his project behind pretentious and incomprehensible jargon-riddled verbiage, among other transgressions’ – Detmer
Detmer’s criticism Verbiage Scholarship – Ecclesiastes: was there really such a quote? – ‘The simulacrum is never what hides the truth – it is the truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true.’
Detmer’s criticism Non sequiturs – Premise: present age is dominated by artificial constructs designed to mislead – Conclusion: truth or reality does not exist Incoherent/contradictory nature of theories – Lack of truth implies a lack of truth about the theory itself!
Links to The Matrix The artificiality of the Matrix – Do we spend more time than we imagine in artificial environments? – Being ‘shown appearances and invited to confuse them with reality’ – Media saturation
Where The Matrix departs from the text Confusion versus replacement – reality and illusion – Simulacra and Simulation – that the artificial realities have destroyed reality – The Matrix – that the artificial realities mislead from reality Basic difference: is there a ‘truth’?
Detmer’s advice How to break free of our living Matrix 101 – Spend more time in the natural world – Devote a bit of time each day to creative activity – Become politically active – Spend more time with your friends – Reduce the amount of time you spend hooked on media outlets – Stop relying on the US mass media