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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116 comments on the article “The Era of Simulation”

Displaying 81 - 90 of 116

Page 9 of 12

Pontwam

There is no overpopulation? Just because your well fed, does not mean that the majority of other people on the planet aren't scarce on food. This false carrying capacity we've achieved is only made possible by agriculture and industry both of which are not sustainably. It does not take a genius to see that as we've expanded our population we have in turn eaten away at the floor we stand on. The devastating, virtually irreparable amount of damage we have done all that sustains us-soil, water, and air-is only increasing as industry and technology proliferates and becomes necessary to live within mainstream society. And this is only speaking from a human level. If any other species has any independent worth, than much more damage has clearly been done. I'm not too sure how knowledgeable you are about human impact on the environment or what sustainability means at all for that matter; so I'm not too sure how much I should say here. This author is merely pointing out growing dependence digital technology and proposing the thought that it is socially destructive. He is not directly stating anything about an alternative or a society void of electronics. Just because humans are naturally innovative, it does not mean that they are not short-sighted, selfish, and sometimes stupid. It is possible that we have innovated ourselves into the worst planetary crises caused by a single species that digital and industrial technology, simply by it's unsustainable nature, cannot surface us out of. Improving our lives is one thing. Choosing convenience over long-term survival is entirely different. The gift of life is meaningful. I'm not suggesting that to immediately destroy all technology would be be a good idea for humans. For the rest of life on the planet, though, it would probably be just what is needed. It seems that because you are accustomed to living in a technological society, that living without said technology would be sad or even harmful. Is it fair to assume that? Just some thoughts. I'd be more than happy to elaborate further on anything I've said if it's unclear or if you disaree. Very interested in a response.

Pontwam

There is no overpopulation? Just because your well fed, does not mean that the majority of other people on the planet aren't scarce on food. This false carrying capacity we've achieved is only made possible by agriculture and industry both of which are not sustainably. It does not take a genius to see that as we've expanded our population we have in turn eaten away at the floor we stand on. The devastating, virtually irreparable amount of damage we have done all that sustains us-soil, water, and air-is only increasing as industry and technology proliferates and becomes necessary to live within mainstream society. And this is only speaking from a human level. If any other species has any independent worth, than much more damage has clearly been done. I'm not too sure how knowledgeable you are about human impact on the environment or what sustainability means at all for that matter; so I'm not too sure how much I should say here. This author is merely pointing out growing dependence digital technology and proposing the thought that it is socially destructive. He is not directly stating anything about an alternative or a society void of electronics. Just because humans are naturally innovative, it does not mean that they are not short-sighted, selfish, and sometimes stupid. It is possible that we have innovated ourselves into the worst planetary crises caused by a single species that digital and industrial technology, simply by it's unsustainable nature, cannot surface us out of. Improving our lives is one thing. Choosing convenience over long-term survival is entirely different. The gift of life is meaningful. I'm not suggesting that to immediately destroy all technology would be be a good idea for humans. For the rest of life on the planet, though, it would probably be just what is needed. It seems that because you are accustomed to living in a technological society, that living without said technology would be sad or even harmful. Is it fair to assume that? Just some thoughts. I'd be more than happy to elaborate further on anything I've said if it's unclear or if you disaree. Very interested in a response.

An0NyM0u5

The sheep, now realizing it's sheep nature, has to face the facts. It has been following the Shepard. To you sheep, i say, you don't have to walk backwards to walk differently then the Shepard. Throw away your fascist apple products and join that which is open source.

An0NyM0u5

The sheep, now realizing it's sheep nature, has to face the facts. It has been following the Shepard. To you sheep, i say, you don't have to walk backwards to walk differently then the Shepard. Throw away your fascist apple products and join that which is open source.

Guess?

It is pointless to carry on the way you are carrying on $adbusters$ it's always about making the potential best democratic indusrty's system of control model with you; "Consequences" of socialism. But not the less you're air of "Authenticty." Old and stale.

Guess?

It is pointless to carry on the way you are carrying on $adbusters$ it's always about making the potential best democratic indusrty's system of control model with you; "Consequences" of socialism. But not the less you're air of "Authenticty." Old and stale.

paulcrisostimo@...

Interesting, yet some have argued that working through association like Wikipedia etc., is how on brain naturally works. Thus, the internet can be a forum for subversion (just look at the power of blogs in autocratic nations) and linking in a way that Roland Barthes declared the "death of the author." We may not even need to detox or reduce anything that you mention as being so unnatural/mechanizing. Try and work within the technological world smarter, leaving wont solve the problem. You will turn out like John Savage at the end of Brave New World.

paulcrisostimo@...

Interesting, yet some have argued that working through association like Wikipedia etc., is how on brain naturally works. Thus, the internet can be a forum for subversion (just look at the power of blogs in autocratic nations) and linking in a way that Roland Barthes declared the "death of the author." We may not even need to detox or reduce anything that you mention as being so unnatural/mechanizing. Try and work within the technological world smarter, leaving wont solve the problem. You will turn out like John Savage at the end of Brave New World.

Democratic Creditors

Adbusters; They are not a global network of culture jammers and creatives, but are working to free the way socialism flows; "the way corporations wield power" the way industry is controlled in democratic society; democratic control of industry. Becuase what is good for you is not good for them. Matters have gone wrong with parlimentry reasoning like provincial authority's, but oh no no no, not in the sense of that word! So they need advice to protect their and enhance their social leisure, otherwise you can. Anyway, nice try fuckers... FUCK-YOU

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