Do we live in a controlled and mediated reality?

Content heavy topics such as hyperreality, simulation and spectacle can all be looked at when exploring how our reality, is in fact extremely mediated and controlled.

Hyperreality is a concept in semiotics and postmodern philosophy. It is an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced postmodern societies. Some famous theorists of hyperreality/hyperrealism include Jean BaudrillardAlbert BorgmannDaniel J. BoorstinNeil Postman and Umberto Eco.

An example of hyperreality is Disney Land:

The simulation hypothesis or simulation theory proposes that all of reality, including the Earth and the universe, is in fact an artificial simulation, most likely a computer simulation. This is a dangerous Youtube hole to go down if you’re game enough.

The idea of society being a spectacle was theorised by philosopher Guy Debord in the 1960s. Debord published a book ‘The Society of the Spectacle‘ that strongly influenced the situationist movement.

These three concepts help us understand the link between technology and reality. When looking deep into such theories, we can start to realise that our modern world is built on a series of images. The concept that individuals derive meaning and purpose from how they are seen by others rather than how they are within themselves. As an example, most people would rather acquire items for the sake of being seen (particularly through social media) with those items rather than just having those items.

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