Adbusters

The Era of Simulation

Consequences of a digital revolution.

“For the message of any medium or technology is the change in scale or pace or pattern that it intrudes into human affairs.”
—Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media

We are being shaped by the constant proliferation of digital technologies in our everyday lifestyles. The Internet may have connected the globe forever, but the developed world is now completely at its mercy. Terms and conditions apply to our autonomy. The World Wide Web has infused our society with an all-encompassing reliance on media technologies. At any given time we are staring at a screen, listening to an iPod, using GPS or holding our iPhone – the device that combines all the above functions in an intuitive and responsive little pocket tool. With this handy instrument on us at all times we are obligated to communicate and to be tuned in to entertainment and information. We are objectified as “users” not people. The products of our digital revolution run our daily routines. We are no longer free agents – technical extensions to our physical selves have become as vital as a limb or an organ.

Digital media will continue to shape us independently and as a society, by acting as a conduit of experience and by invading our real space and time. How many of us have wasted hours idly surfing the Internet or aimlessly flicking through endless TV channels?

“We are asked to follow pre-programmed, objectively existing associations.”
—Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media

This is what Jean Baudrillard called “the era of simulation,” we are being herded in preordained directions, dictated by omniscient authors. By following hyperlinks on Wikipedia, for example, we are following someone else’s premeditated path through information and jumping from one piece of subject matter to another. All too often users mistake these connections as their own and continually follow externalized thought processes, relying less and less on their natural associations. Similarly, social networks such as MySpace and Facebook externalize relationships, which has fragmented society by encouraging everyone to recede into their new portable plaything rather than sparking up conversation. The BlackBerry smartphone means that bosses never have to leave the office, while microblogging services such as Twitter mean that they can text the entire team to call an all-important emergency meeting in one fell swoop. Escape is futile. As we move from an industrial civilization into an information civilization, we’re online and we’re locked in. Try a digital detox for even just a day, I bet you will fail, I already have.

Zachary Colbert

Thank-you to everyone who participated in this year's Digital Detox Week. Send us your feedback, thoughts and epiphanies to [email protected]. Did you miss this year's detox? Have your own anytime or check out the campaign page for updates for next year.

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On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

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116 comments on the article “The Era of Simulation”

Displaying 41 - 50 of 116

Page 5 of 12

hcl_23

In this era of technology what is the point in discussing dark era? Personally I find things are getting better and better. 

hcl_23

In this era of technology what is the point in discussing dark era? Personally I find things are getting better and better. 

Gibbs

“By following hyperlinks on Wikipedia, for example, we are following someone else’s premeditated path through information and jumping from one piece of subject matter to another.” Wait a second, this is extremely pessimistic! When someone clicks on a hyperlink, he does so because he choose himself to, not because he his brainwashed into doing so by another supra-human! Remember that all these neat gadgets like the iPhone and Blackberries are things YOU bought YOURSELF. YOU made the decision to get ultra-wired. Yes, we get pressured by society to do so, but everybody has a choice to limit their use of these technologies to a minimum or not to fall into them! Refer to Admirim's comment. What we must watch out for is for an illegal enforcing, be it government-imposed or corporation-imposed, of these gadgets. And if it does happen, well, as V said in V for Vendetta, "you need only to look in the mirror for the culprits"

Gibbs

“By following hyperlinks on Wikipedia, for example, we are following someone else’s premeditated path through information and jumping from one piece of subject matter to another.” Wait a second, this is extremely pessimistic! When someone clicks on a hyperlink, he does so because he choose himself to, not because he his brainwashed into doing so by another supra-human! Remember that all these neat gadgets like the iPhone and Blackberries are things YOU bought YOURSELF. YOU made the decision to get ultra-wired. Yes, we get pressured by society to do so, but everybody has a choice to limit their use of these technologies to a minimum or not to fall into them! Refer to Admirim's comment. What we must watch out for is for an illegal enforcing, be it government-imposed or corporation-imposed, of these gadgets. And if it does happen, well, as V said in V for Vendetta, "you need only to look in the mirror for the culprits"

Peter Jurmu

'None of the modern machines, none of the modern paraphernalia...have any power except over the people who choose to use them.' G. K. Chesterton

Peter Jurmu

'None of the modern machines, none of the modern paraphernalia...have any power except over the people who choose to use them.' G. K. Chesterton

Peterp

ALL OF THE MODERN WARS HAVE NO POWER OVER THE PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO FIGHT THEM; BUT NOT THE HOT SEX(Aesthetic)Porn AND PARAPHERNAILA (tea,coffee,wine). These are things dolphins do Peter, it's ok things are going to be fine, I feel it.

Peterp

ALL OF THE MODERN WARS HAVE NO POWER OVER THE PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO FIGHT THEM; BUT NOT THE HOT SEX(Aesthetic)Porn AND PARAPHERNAILA (tea,coffee,wine). These are things dolphins do Peter, it's ok things are going to be fine, I feel it.

Anonymous

it's good that we can simulate... that way we can make demonstration... take a decision... and chose the best path... we do not loose our creativity... we just share what we think... it helps us to take decisions... it helps us to be more responsible... the problem in this matter is responsability of the person... nothing else... don't be laisy as the "american way" makes you... just be your self... and search for your hapiness... think positive and the world will look more positive... (adbusters is becoming too negative... when will adbusters be more pro active..? when will you say "not this way, BUT this way"... make the evolution...)

Anonymous

it's good that we can simulate... that way we can make demonstration... take a decision... and chose the best path... we do not loose our creativity... we just share what we think... it helps us to take decisions... it helps us to be more responsible... the problem in this matter is responsability of the person... nothing else... don't be laisy as the "american way" makes you... just be your self... and search for your hapiness... think positive and the world will look more positive... (adbusters is becoming too negative... when will adbusters be more pro active..? when will you say "not this way, BUT this way"... make the evolution...)

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