This lecture was another one of the very deep ones, thinking about what's real and trying to understand our perception of reality, and how we view it. We touched on dreaming as a form of simulation and how it's a break from reality and how we should never blur the two together. If we blur the two together, then we can never truly know the reality from the simulation. We also talked about how we are such a medicated society and how if we feel like we're not normal, we need to take a pill for it. I agree, because when you flip through a magazine, or watch tv, you see advertisements for medication, trying to make us feel normal. There are so many ED pills, and pills to make us "happy" on the market, and why do we need these? Do we need them to feel better about our lives, to make them more exciting? To make your life more exciting, first, turn off the television and walk outside. Also, we talked about violence and aggression in a simulated world, such as World of Warcraft, or any other online games. How they make the game endless so that you have to keep coming back, and how we see so much violence and aggression on a day to day basis. There is a thing in World of Warcraft, where you can go and just kill people, and get rewarded for it. Quests to kill small animals, and everything like that. I am proud to say that I canceled my World of Warcraft account and I am free of it's grasp. But is that grasp real, or simulation?
Where in society do we ever understand what the norm truly is, its seems to be an evasive illusion that is constantly being pulled away from us, but making us less unique, and less connected to our world, and rather than fixing the problem, it has become the problem. The illusion is the fog that settles between us and our reality, molded by the medicated daze we immerse ourselves in, the propagated media that we indulge in, the fog is the thing that we live in, and we are in constant battle, fighting the messages invading our world, and taking away our own personal space.We talked about in the lecture the distance between us and our dreams, and how as you close that gap and begin to meld the two together it becomes extremely difficult to understand what the difference between the dreaming world or simulation is, and the reality of the world around you, until you reach breaking point. A breaking point is something that triggers you to snap out of the cross fade, or is so connected to the reality of the actual world, ie, doing something in a dream that in fact really kills you in the real world. The idea that if you die in your sleep or in your dream then you will die in the real world, that the mind, the body, and the auxiliary senses of your body is so real that if you actually die in your imagination then your mind and body will die.I too felt that the lecture was another one of those really deep conversations where, the discussion of what is real and what is not comes up, and it did, but I felt that there was much more than the exploration of what is real and not that came up. We discussed many different things, ranging form the common understanding of what dreams mean to Native Americans, all the way down to how advertising influence us
The one memorable thing about this lecture (minus the word decadence!) is how layered our realities truly are. There are so many levels of information we gather each day -- color, texture, sound, image, -- and all of those are just things that are on the surface, so unless we can see inside of something -- does it truly exists. I often thing about the connection with quantum physics and how some theories suggest that we are shaping our own realities. Just last night I was telling a few friends that "facts do not exist" -- but rather agreements. I used the argument of colorblindness because for them the "one truth" that the sky is blue is not true. If we lived in a world where colorblindness was the "norm" then the sky would be gray (or some other shade) and those who saw it as "blue" would be deviant and it would cease to be a fact. Construction of reality when we look deeper into the social construction of reality.RE KORY// I think a huge reason for our "pill fix" is consequence of overpopulation. The more people there are the less energy (time, money, etc.) can be spent on each individual. In that kind of a system -- people crave to be at the next level of the hierarchy, so they will push and shove to get there, and if they know it is not possible -- they will take a pill for it. Our social construction is way too demanding for our own good. why does every girl have to be size -2 and every guy build like a muscle man? Someone gave us an image and we said "OMG, I WANT THAT" so we will drug and kill until we reach that goal -- instead of instantiating our own goals. The last bit I will touch on is dreams. I think if we were more in touch with ourselves we would more often have vivid and/or lucid dreams. I had my 2nd or 3rd lucid dream a few weeks ago, and it was really quite strange (lucid dreams often times tend to be vivid dreams as well -- such is the nature of lucidity). Anyways, I think if we were more in touch with our dreams and our true state of consciousness (and not obsessed with the prescribed images we are given) then we would indeed have many more vivid dreams and beyond. If we had vivid dreams would not be a huge different (for the better) than movies -- since you can experience and feel without any true consequences. I suppose that could get dangerous as well, but it would sure beat a movie. Then you and friends should share the dreams -- but that'd be a simulation for them, but oh well, possibly it is better than some of the simulations we are already creating!!
This is another one of those discussion that relate back to the views and theories of Jean Baudrillard and the perception of reality. To me, dreams are the mere perception we have of reality in which subconsciously we take control and manipulate the limitations of the real within simulation. No one likes boundaries and being able to exceed them is what makes simulation appealing.What makes others detached from reality is not the simulation itself but rather their understanding of the distinct difference between the two.We are bombarded by simulacra of the real- and when we become more exposed to it and less of the real we can get lost and detached from the real. Looking at video games and the effects it has on our culture, we can see that excessive exposer leaves the participant detached from the real. If a player can kill at will without consequence, it may lead them to cloud the real from simulation and recreate those acts within the two.For those we are not in touch with the real, they are tricked and misguided by which worlds limitations are applicable.I can remember an experience I had when I was younger. A classmate and myself would play games online together- the game was Warcraft 2. We would build up our armies and work together to fight the computer. My classmate got mad at me for "killing too much", thus leaving him with not enough kills. He then began to attack my characters and instead of fighting the computer he was sending his entire fleet at me. Seeing nothing wrong with it, I attacked back. I ended up destroying and defeating him. He logged off and the following week of school he would not speak to me. I didn't understand really- because to me it was only a game, no one was hurt and nothing was lost. Apparently a 14 year olds pride and ego was, but nothing more.If something as unimportant as a game can have such effects on a 'real' relationship, it really shows the blur between reality and simulation- and it's a scary thing.
I loved how Raph stated that imagination was one of the most important things to us as humans. Yes, he gave actual examples such as the fact that if we as ancient creatures could not have had the capacity to imagine tools to further our species and protect us, we would not be where we are today, but I saw it from a more artistic standpoint (which he touched on as well) which is that without imagination we'd basically be monkeys with car keys. Imagination, creativity and art are some of the things that define us as a species, and yes, when we see billboards and trailers bombarding us from every angle, we DO have to wonder whether this is affecting our own intellectual property. Raph asked whether we should be suing THEM for infringing on our intellectual rights like that, but do we really have that right anymore? Our society begs for that kind of thing: short, for our limited attention spans, loud, amazing special effects attacking us from all angles...no wonder the advertising industry is so powerful. We let ourselves be used, we refuse to use our own imaginations because apparently we are too lazy nowadays to be original, and instead we let our interests be captures by flashy trailers and posters. My imagination is probably subject to this effect, too, though I do try to fight it and come up with original concepts when I can.As to the mention of being unable to distinguish real vs. imagined in games - I would definitely have to say that gameplay such as in World of Warcraft is decadent, but is it redundant? It is completely frivolous and unnecessary, and this is the decadence of simulation in which we immerse ourselves. However, by nature you can interact with other players and do different things, and this can prevent it from being redundant. I suppose it mostly is up to the person at the keyboard: are you going to give your imagination away completely, letting the game take you over, or are you going to put your mind into it, role playing or thinking up stories in relation to the game and making it interesting for yourself? I guess most of this is all a question of imaginary discipline - if you'll excuse the pun.
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