Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard, 77, Critic and Theorist of Hyperreality, Dies

The French critic and provocateur Jean Baudrillard, whose theories about consumer culture and the manufactured nature of reality were intensely discussed both in rarefied philosophical circles and in blockbuster movies like “The Matrix,” died yesterday in Paris. He was 77.

One of his better known theories postulates that we live in a world where simulated feelings and experiences have replaced the real thing. This seductive “hyperreality,” where shopping malls, amusement parks and mass-produced images from the news, television shows and films dominate, is drained of authenticity and meaning. Since illusion reigns, he counseled people to give up the search for reality.

“All of our values are simulated,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “What is freedom? We have a choice between buying one car or buying another car? It’s a simulation of freedom.”

NYT Obituary:

I never got too much into Baudrillard, but found some of his ideas interesting. Echoes of Rimbaud: "True life is absent."

Rest in Peace

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