Topic – Lies, damn lies and in-authenticity

This post links to Mark Childs Seminar (see Research Seminars 24.02.2011). Some people equate “digital” and “technological” resources as dangerous lies. Something which is morally wrong and which caters to the weaker members of society.

These beliefs are really old. Greek philosophers discussed this belief and philosophers right through to the 20th Century have discussed “being”, the “real” and the “unreal”. Probably the best known of those 20th Century philosophers to write about these attitudes was Baudrillard. As Mark and Anna mention, “Mitcham refers to [it] as ancient scepticism”.

These fears have to be resolved to enable people to engage with VW. My way of dealing with it is to discuss why I believe that it is all “real”. One is digitally real and the other is corporeally real. It helps if you know a little bit of philosophy 🙂

How do you deal with it?

J. Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, 1994, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press

C. Mitcham, Thinking Through Technology: the path between engineering and philosophy, 1994, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 277

2 responses to “Topic – Lies, damn lies and in-authenticity

  1. elizabeth swift

    Yes I agree its all’ real’. The general tendency to distinguish between the virtual and the real, second life / first life etc – doesn’t seem to fit to well. I was discussing this subject with some students earlier and we were talking about ordinary life as being a hybrid state comprising bits of the virtual and the ‘real’ and how it was increasingly difficult to separate the two states. The cyberpoet MEZ talks about ‘reality graded presences’ that fluctuate between the virtual and the phenomenologically “real”.

  2. timjohnson

    What lucky students! I feel that it is necessary to teach about this “reality” issue in order for, at least some, people to be able to feel comfortable online. Even with something as simple as emailing or commenting on a blog; I think that people are uncomfortable doing these things not because of any “fear of technology” but because of an unrecognised, and misunderstood, anxiety about “reality” .

    Been looking at stuff about cyberpoetry, etc very interesting 🙂
    ( )

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