Write a short analysis (300 words approx) of an aspect of our culture that is in some way Hyperreal. Hyperreality is an awkward and slippery concept. Wikipedia defines it as follows-
Hyperreality is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe a hypothetical inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced post-modern societies. Hyperreality is a way of characterizing what our consciousness defines as "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience.
Wikipedia cites the following examples to get you thinking (but please come up with your own!)
- A well manicured garden (nature as hyperreal).
- Any massively promoted versions of historical or present "facts" (e.g. "General Ignorance" from QI, where the questions have seemingly obvious answers, which are actually wrong).
- Professional sports athletes as super, invincible versions of the human beings.
- Many world cities and places which did not evolve as functional places with some basis in reality, as if they were creatio ex nihilo (literally 'creation out of nothing'): Disney World; Dubai; Celebration, Florida; and Las Vegas.
- TV and film in general (especially "reality" TV), due to its creation of a world of fantasy and its dependence that the viewer will engage with these fantasy worlds. The current trend is to glamorize the mundane using histrionics.
- A retail store that looks completely stocked and perfect due to facing, creating a world of endless identical products.
- A life which cannot be (e.g. the perfect facsimile of a celebrity's invented persona).
- A high end sex doll used as a simulacrum of an unattainable partner.
- A newly made building or item designed to look old, or to recreate or reproduce an older artifact, by simulating the feel of age or aging.
- Second Life The distinction becomes blurred when it becomes the platform for RL (Real Life) courses and conferences, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or leads to real world interactions behind the scenes.
- Weak virtual reality which is greater than any possible simulation of physical reality.