The Implosion of Meaning in the Media

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posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 11:39 AM
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We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.
- Jean Baudrillard




I stumbled upon a chapter called "The Implosion of Meaning in the Media " in a book titled "Simulacra and Simulation" by Jean Baudrillard.



Baudrillard was a social theorist and critic best known for his analyses of the modes of mediation and technological communication. His writing, though mostly concerned with the way technological progress affects social change, covers diverse subjects — including consumerism, gender relations, the social understanding of history, journalistic commentaries about AIDS, cloning, the Rushdie affair, the first Gulf War and the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

Jean Baudrillard

In "Simulacra and Simulation" he gives an interesting perspective on how the media has lost meaning through the constant display and ever increasing need/demand for information, Baudrillard offers three hypotheses which can be read here:
The Implosion of Meaning in the Media
The third hypotheses specifically caught my interest:



The third hypothesis is the most interesting but flies in the face of every commonly held opinion. Everywhere socialization is measured by the exposure to media messages. Whoever is underexposed to the media is desocialized or virtually asocial. Everywhere information is thought to produce an accelerated circulation of meaning, a plus value of meaning homologous to the economic one that results from the accelerated rotation of capital. Information is thought to create communication, and even if the waste is enormous, a general consensus would have it that nevertheless, as a whole, there be an excess of meaning, which is redistributed in all the interstices of the social - just as consensus would have it that material production, despite its dysfunctions and irrationalities, opens onto an excess of wealth and social purpose. We are all complicitous in this myth. It is the alpha and omega of our modernity, without which the credibility of our social organization would collapse. Well, the fact is that it is collapsing, and for this very reason: because where we think that information produces meaning, the opposite occurs.


I thought I would share this with the ATS community, it sure is interesting to discuss and consider the possibility of this trend manifesting in the present world. A society governed by implosion and hyper-reality, the loss of reality itself and thus the loss of meaning.



In his writings from 1975 to the present, Baudrillard projects a vision of a media and high-tech society where people are caught up in the play of images, spectacles, simulacra, communications networks, etc. that have less and less relationship to an outside, to an external “reality,” to such an extent that the very concepts of the social, political, or even “reality” no longer seem to have any meaning. And the vertinginous, aleatory, and blurry (some of Baudrillard’s favorite metaphors) omnipresent and ubiquitous media saturated consciousness is in such a state of narcosis and mesmerized fascination that the concept of meaning itself (which depends on stable boundaries, fixed structures, shared consensus) dissolves. The last decade or so of Baudrillard’s writing can be read as an attempt to think through the implications of this new primal scene, this new situation and, if possible, to find a way out. (Though he eventually concludes that there is no way out {JB 1983c}).

Douglas Kellner

What are your thoughts on this?




posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by Clairaudience


We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.
- Jean Baudrillard




I stumbled upon a chapter called "The Implosion of Meaning in the Media " in a book titled "Simulacra and Simulation" by Jean Baudrillard.



Baudrillard was a social theorist and critic best known for his analyses of the modes of mediation and technological communication. His writing, though mostly concerned with the way technological progress affects social change, covers diverse subjects — including consumerism, gender relations, the social understanding of history, journalistic commentaries about AIDS, cloning, the Rushdie affair, the first Gulf War and the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

Jean Baudrillard

In "Simulacra and Simulation" he gives an interesting perspective on how the media has lost meaning through the constant display and ever increasing need/demand for information, Baudrillard offers three hypotheses which can be read here:
The Implosion of Meaning in the Media
The third hypotheses specifically caught my interest:



The third hypothesis is the most interesting but flies in the face of every commonly held opinion. Everywhere socialization is measured by the exposure to media messages. Whoever is underexposed to the media is desocialized or virtually asocial. Everywhere information is thought to produce an accelerated circulation of meaning, a plus value of meaning homologous to the economic one that results from the accelerated rotation of capital. Information is thought to create communication, and even if the waste is enormous, a general consensus would have it that nevertheless, as a whole, there be an excess of meaning, which is redistributed in all the interstices of the social - just as consensus would have it that material production, despite its dysfunctions and irrationalities, opens onto an excess of wealth and social purpose. We are all complicitous in this myth. It is the alpha and omega of our modernity, without which the credibility of our social organization would collapse. Well, the fact is that it is collapsing, and for this very reason: because where we think that information produces meaning, the opposite occurs.


I thought I would share this with the ATS community, it sure is interesting to discuss and consider the possibility of this trend manifesting in the present world. A society governed by implosion and hyper-reality, the loss of reality itself and thus the loss of meaning.



In his writings from 1975 to the present, Baudrillard projects a vision of a media and high-tech society where people are caught up in the play of images, spectacles, simulacra, communications networks, etc. that have less and less relationship to an outside, to an external “reality,” to such an extent that the very concepts of the social, political, or even “reality” no longer seem to have any meaning. And the vertinginous, aleatory, and blurry (some of Baudrillard’s favorite metaphors) omnipresent and ubiquitous media saturated consciousness is in such a state of narcosis and mesmerized fascination that the concept of meaning itself (which depends on stable boundaries, fixed structures, shared consensus) dissolves. The last decade or so of Baudrillard’s writing can be read as an attempt to think through the implications of this new primal scene, this new situation and, if possible, to find a way out. (Though he eventually concludes that there is no way out {JB 1983c}).

Douglas Kellner

What are your thoughts on this?


For now, we must use our inner self consciousness to manage this paradox duality of life. This situation however is beginning to drastically change due to more and more open minded and aware individuals that are observant about the true history of mankind. We have been made to forget this so that a few might control us through social/media/economic/political/religious/etc... means. We have the upper-hand however because we sense what is really going on in the world vs what we are told about via the media.



A society governed by implosion and hyper-reality, the loss of reality itself and thus the loss of meaning.


We already are living in a hyper reality and indeed some have lost their view on reality but the only thing we can do to help the situation is discuss controversial topics and educate others.



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 12:09 PM
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Terrance Mckenna lays it out pretty nicely. Oh and no you don't need to use mushrooms or '___' to become aware of the things he talks about.



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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More information on Baudrillard thesis by George Ritzer:



Baudrillard work is radical in the sense that it gives no acknowledgement to structural forces. Images, codes, symbols etc. are simply self-referential free floating objects, there is no meaning to them or a meta-narrative that can account for their movement. It is merely a simulation for simulation’s sake, where the masses, as a black hole, simply absorb and are saturated with media signs, simulacra – an all encompassing simulated hyper-reality. Ritzer states:
The masses are not seen as manipulated by the media, but the media are being forced to supply their escalating demands for objects and spectacles. In a sense, society itself is imploding into the black hole that is the masses. Summing up much of this theory, Kellner concludes ‘Acceleration of inertia, the implosion of meaning in the media, the implosion of the social in the mass, the implosion of the mass in a dark hole of nihilism and meaninglessness; such is the Baudrillardian postmodern vision’ (Ritzer 2003:608)

Link

A reasonable but worrying vision.



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by DjOsiris
For now, we must use our inner self consciousness to manage this paradox duality of life. This situation however is beginning to drastically change due to more and more open minded and aware individuals that are observant about the true history of mankind. We have been made to forget this so that a few might control us through social/media/economic/political/religious/etc... means. We have the upper-hand however because we sense what is really going on in the world vs what we are told about via the media.

We already are living in a hyper reality and indeed some have lost their view on reality but the only thing we can do to help the situation is discuss controversial topics and educate others.


I appreciate your comment and agree with your stance, indeed it is the paradox duality of life at work here and there are not many ways to come in terms with it other than contemplating about the true nature of our surroundings and ourselves. It is a gradual process for the individual, but in order for the masses to come in terms with it takes a lot of time and effort, I see why Baudrillard couldn't find a way out, one in this case cannot make the difference and bring about the change, it takes many to restore meaning and significance.
edit on 25-11-2010 by Clairaudience because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by DjOsiris
 


Thank you for mentioning Terence Mckenna, I read most of his work and indeed he had some deep insight, this topic would be right up his alley



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by Clairaudience

Originally posted by DjOsiris
For now, we must use our inner self consciousness to manage this paradox duality of life. This situation however is beginning to drastically change due to more and more open minded and aware individuals that are observant about the true history of mankind. We have been made to forget this so that a few might control us through social/media/economic/political/religious/etc... means. We have the upper-hand however because we sense what is really going on in the world vs what we are told about via the media.

We already are living in a hyper reality and indeed some have lost their view on reality but the only thing we can do to help the situation is discuss controversial topics and educate others.


I appreciate your comment and agree with your stance, indeed it is the paradox duality of life at work here and there are not many ways to come in terms with it other than contemplating about the true nature of our surroundings and ourselves. It is a gradual process for the individual, but in order for the masses to come in terms with it takes a lot of time and effort, I see why Baudrillard couldn't find a way out, one in this case cannot make the difference and bring about the change, it takes many to restore meaning and significance.
edit on 25-11-2010 by Clairaudience because: (no reason given)


The holographic reality is crumbling and so those who are about to be revealed are doing everything they can to hold on to control. In the end they will only see defeat. Because the world is controlled by a small group, it is ultimately the responsibility of the rest of humanity as citizens of this planet to reign in the destructive forces to ensure our survival as a species. The awakening to consciousness and infinite memory has accelerated dramatically.

We are approaching the galactic plane and coming out of the negatively influenced particles and into the positive so this is a frightening change for many individuals. Some of whom could potentially be EXTREMELY dangerous.



posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by DjOsiris
 


Yes, change is inevitable and it will disintegrate the fallacies of our past and present, yet one has to be careful not to effortlessly await the change that may be upon us, but to be an essential part of its manifestation. Lets hope the hyper realities will fall and give rise to a new mindset that is tolerant to the guiding forces of nature, and not end up in a world where meaning has been obliterated and "reality" too far to reach back to.
edit on 26-11-2010 by Clairaudience because: (no reason given)
edit on 26-11-2010 by Clairaudience because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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edit on 20121119 by trope because: Removed because I inadvertently necro'd a dead thread. Not sure how I wound up so far in the past




posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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reply to post by Clairaudience
 


My thoughts are YUUUPP. Reality is our perception of the world around us. Critical thinking is not a skill encouraged in the child programming classes called formal education. There are no red/blue pill offerings, it is "Drink the water Dave, it is really real." Media is not to blame however, they give us what we ask for, meaningless, base entertainment. As Russell Crowe asked in Gladiator, "Are you not entertained?!?!"





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