Is the Real Vanishing?

Excellent, glad to find this post. I’m reading Present Shock myself right now and this is in the same vein. I’m in shock. At least I know what it is now, have an idea why, and what may be done to counter it.

Chad Ference

Jean+Baudrillard+with+the+Chance+Band+jeanbaudrillardMorgan Freeman, the actor with the godlike voice, works in mysterious ways. As it happened, he helped me to understand more fully the first chapter of Jean Baudrillard’s The Illusion of the End, a postmodern meditation not on the end of history but on the “systematic obliteration” of it. In the work, Baudrillard gravitates toward astrophysical analogies; I used to be wholly ignorant of astrophysics. Morgan Freeman, though, narrates a wonderful documentary series devoted to airing the theories of groundbreaking astrophysicists in a way that ordinary minds can grasp.

Baudrillard illustrates his point — that in the digital age, we are attempting to wipe away all that happened in the twentieth century in order to start from scratch — with two such analogies. The first of these is based on escape velocity, which Freeman tells me is the speed a thing needs to reach in order to break free of the…

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About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger.
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