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Hyper Reality

Prince Myshkin

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Not sure if I've made this thread before. It was something I was interested in a year ago but I may not have been posting at that point. My current job has brought it back to the forefront. I couldn't find a similar thread through the search bar so figured I'd start this one up. Not sure how much participation there will be, though.


So yes, hyper reality. It's a wide ranging concept and I was introduced to it thanks to a podcast called The Big Ideas, which basically summarises philosophies of different people (from Plato to Rousseau to Nietzsche to some lesser known people) in around ten to fifteen minutes. I recommend it to people for starting points on different philosophers. Anyway, one of the first ones I listened to was on a man called Guy Debord who had several theories on hyper reality. He even had a theses called The Society of the Spectacle (see full text here: http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/pub_contents/4), which is an interesting read.


I won't go too much into detail as it's more interesting to soak these things in direct from the source and discover them yourself rather than reading a poorly written summary from me.


Examples of hyper reality include:


Mass media concentration on freak events, making them seem more common than they are - intensified concentration and exposure to a certain issue can lead the public to a distorted view of the norms in society (for example if the media decides to cover all dog attacks and not focus on rape, those watching the news tend to overestimate the amount of dog attacks that are taking place in the country, and underestimate the amount of rape within a country simply because that is what they are exposed to). In the UK a dangerous dogs act was established in law due to high media coverage of dog attacks on toddlers even though the numbers of such attacks had remained the same for decades. It was seen as a new phenomenon which required dealing with immediately.


Increase in technology and screens which separates the user from the actual experience. Add to this photoshopping of media images which further alienates the reader from reality.


Fetishisation of capitalist goods used to detract people away and leading them to seek happiness in commodities rather than well being. This is also tied in with sex as a commodity (something which can be acquired through capitalism), in which if you buy a certain product or participate in a certain diet you will get the girl/boy, etc.


Nature designed, for example a park or a garden. A place that has been constructed to resemble nature but is co-ordinated.




Anyway, I was wondering if anybody had anything to share on the topic. The positive effects of hyper reality, the negative effects, things that have not been discussed here (social media, for example), the examples that most annoy you. Anything really.

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From just reading that, it sounds like it's all negative. It makes sense, especially how the media distorts reality.


Also the increase in technology and screens, that's spot on. I feel that way quite often. That's why once this old, crappy computer(how is it still working after 3 1/2 years and having cost 250 dollars?) I'm going to try and go without one for a while. Less distractions and more time to focus on living. If I completely remove it from my life, it won't be a temptation and I can do what I've wanted to do for many years.

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