Saturday 18 April 2020

Most people agree - the virtual-media world is essentially the-same-as real life (or better)

One of the more sinister insidious assumptions brought to the fore recently, has been the repeated statement that life (or religion, or perfomance art, or education, or medical consultations) is being kept-going online.

So, people watching (or, more accurately, logging-onto) streamed (or recorded) church services on their computers is seen as a positive development - if the viewing figures exceed the numbers typically attending.

Telephoning or video conferencing contact and 'meet-ups' between family members and friends has, by order - and without any declared end-point - replaced actual proximity, conversation, and human touch.

By and large, I think people approve of this abolition of life. Maybe it provides the perfect excuse to avoid human reality?

Because that is what we have seen. The near abolition of real life for some billions of people.

Most people (by their revealed preferences) apparently don't see any qualitative difference bewteen online and real life; and online life is easier, cheaper, more convenient. 

The equivalence of virtual and real (or passive and participatory) is a typical rationalisation of the 'what's the fuss?' denialism of people in general, faced with the biggest and most rapid societal change in the history of the world.

Their primary underlying aim seems to be to deny that anything significant has been changed by the fact that real human life has been suspended, without any assurances that it will ever resume. Certainly they seem to be happy, and indeed keen, for another month, or two, or twelve-month of the same... (So long as it there are vague and dishonest assurances that this keeps people 'safe'.)

Resumption of real life is being stated to depend contingently on if, or when, the birdemic goes-away - and this means goes-away and is not replaced by some other problem declared by the Establishment to justify the end of real life.

Whoever said that people get the government they deserve was onto something. Those who regard the virtual world as equivalent to (or better than) real life will be rewarded with a virtual world and the minimum possible real life.

And they can be optimistic that virtuality will replace reality, because that looks like the goal of the Establishment...

With the proviso that when real life has been made permanently illegal or officially-controlled (to keep us 'safe'), and the virtual world is all that remains - the content and nature of the virtual world will be shaped to Their requirements, and access to it will be regulated in pursuit of Their goals.

What that means depends on what you suppose the Establishment's goals to be...


Bruce B. said...

Not surprised - people think pets are the same (or better than) people e.g. the "I love my grand-dog" bumper sticker I keep seeing.

G. said...

I think you underestimate the extent to which virtual corporate life is really just as good, because in-person corporate life is pretty fake.

Bruce Charlton said...

@G - No, I don't underestimate it - I regard it as part of the same phenomenon. In many areas, real life has been subverted-down to a level at which it is experienced as fake.

For example, from experience; real life university lectures have become so degraded as experiences, that online versions are mostly just as good - i.e. just as bad.

Or, meeting a doctor IRL is so micro-managed by checklists, protocols, and the attitudes defensive medicine (so unhumane); that online consulations aren't distinguishably worse.