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Jean Baudrillard The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact: Mental Diaspora of the Networks

11 Aug

Mental diaspora of the networks is stated by Baudrillard to mean the disconnection between the symbolic images and the reality. This occurs causing the lack of ability for  value judgments to occur among other inabilities to trust symbols and images. Baudrillard states this to happen because  of the fact that we cannot take media and its symbols for reality, and we must search further for truth. As I read this part of the Intelligence of Evil I was lead to ask why, and how this mental diaspora could have happened. knowing that why/how it happened may be the key to deciphering the diaspora. Baudrillard states little about why/how, and mostly about what, and how it effects the people exposed to the media and its misleading images. The what and how it affects is to be discussed here, but I first want to dedicate some discussion as to why and how this mental diaspora happened in the first place. First, these inferences being solely of my own, I think that media, images, symbolism, and art have greatly progressed over the years and have gotten more non-conforming to the art around it. Media has grown to include everything including a growing area of it that diverges from the main stream. By now, this diverging media from the main stream has to be about a half of all media, symbols, images, and art. I must add about this diverging media from the main stream that its qualifications do not include coherence with reality. This front of media, knowing of the other half cohering to reality, mostly does not cohere with reality for artistic, creative, and entertaining purposes. This growing diversity of media I think is what causes the mental diaspora. Baudrillard did little in his book to talk about why, or how it came to be, but I find it extremely important in knowing what, and how it is now.

Baudrillard states that mental diaspora of the networks occurs (and does so rapidly) when 2 opposite poles (of symbol or media) merge into each other until each emergence previously distinguishable is no longer able to be taken from it. The 2 opposite poles existing often coheres with reality allowing us to have some understanding as to what media denotes reality, but when the mental diaspora occurs, this deciphering ability toward the reality basically disappears. Moreover, Baudrillard exemplifies in the book his discussion with Susan Sontag on the one time they witnessed on television about the moon, where Sontag states that she viewed images of the moon (a screen showing the moon) but she did not really see the moon from the television. The network between media and reality was at first strict in that media denoted some sort of reality, but the diaspora scattered all of the media and infused it with the diverging unreal media. When at first virtual intelligence denoted a high level of intelligence, if we still relied on virtual intelligence we would all be ignorant and basically stupid. The mental diaspora of the networks infused the reality coherent media with the diverging and emerging creative yet not reality coherent media, causing all media to be contaminated, and allowing none of it to be truly trusted for knowledge about truth and reality. I may have exaggerated this mental diaspora of the networks a little too much, but I still feel I have accurately stated it for its face value. This diaspora can be exemplified  by Fox News pretty much having been reporting truthful stories and politics before the mental diaspora of the networks (recognize the poles of truthful news, and tabloid news), and after the diaspora, not being able to know what is truthful or real reports on a blatantly tabloidal scandal. Or, another example, before the diaspora, a person looking for heterosexual entertainment, could easily find it and get what the person wants, but after the diaspora, the same person may see a piece of media that looks totally heterosexual on the outside, and appears so throughout, but gives the person not what he/she wants, and ends up really being homosexual when the media is fully viewed. Before the diaspora, that material would have been clearly represented as homosexual, and no ‘hetero’ labels would be assigned to it. The diaspora of the networks makes it hard for any media to denote reality because of how all of the media has homogenized with each other. Also, if the diaspora had not occurred, picking out movies to see in the theater would be a lot easier because we would know for sure whether we would probably like a movie or not. We would never have to see a bad movie again. But, for example, the movie The Informant looks like it might be funny because of the photo on the cover, and because of the way it converses with the viewer of the ad, making someone think it a better movie than it actually is. I rented the movie thinking that the dork on the front of the cover would mean it would be a funny movie, but it turned out to be about a worker at an ethanol oil company and a crisis that happens there. And I like informative, interesting  movies, but in my opinion the Informant was not interesting by any means, so this ad mislead me. I think the diaspora effected even more propaganda and advertising in that these advertising and propaganda projects are more misleading every day. For some forms of media, the diaspora was a good thing, like for art, I believe the diaspora served a good purpose, and it was good for it to happen. I say this because I think that art should not have a presupposed meaning to it. The artist should have his/her own meaning for the artwork, and it should be left up to the viewer to interpret it in any other way. The diaspora helps the industry of art, but art is only a division of media. The diaspora was negative for (advertising and propaganda like said before) political campaigns, news, and for non fiction writing. It did well for fiction/literature writing because it often leaves meaning/interpretation up to the reader. Politics, and campaigns are badly effected by the diaspora because the tendency to ‘rake muck’ occurs more because of the homogenized media. Muck is raked on bills, propositions, lawmakers, and politicians even if the muck is not true muck, but the muck badly effects those trying to help the nation with his/her political tactics. Overall, I do not think things would work out if the mental diaspora of the networks had not occurred by now because of how society has developed around it. I may be taking the notion of the diaspora way too far, but I feel that it does in fact go as far as I say.

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Jean Baudrillard The Intelligence of Evil: Integral Reality

27 Jul

In the beginning of the Intelligence of Evil and the Lucidity Pact, Baudrillard explains that integral reality is the only reality that is true enough to be referred upon. He states that integral reality is inferred from objective reality. He also talks about faith in God and other things without the ability to see them causing their own disappearance in reality. The claim to integral reality is done so because of the metaphysical disappearance of the concept of reality because of the unknowns causing the people to rely on faith to understand things around them.  Baudrillard begins his book by explaining what reality is understood as.

“Objective reality- reality related to meaning and representation- gives way to integral reality, a reality without limits in which everything is realized and technically materialized without reference to any principle or final purpose whatever” (Baudrillard).

Integral reality is derived from objective reality in that the reality is understood from all things that we understand and perceive. Integral reality eludes faith, ambiguity. Looking back on Wittgenstein, he would endorse integral reality because of how it only recognizes things we see and understand, especially because he did not believe in having faith in something we cannot see or understand.

I find integral reality interesting because of how it (along with many other philosophies) only endorses things we see and understand. Having faith in things we do not understand or perceive goes against integral reality. Baudrillard does well to state faiths in these things as to say that the technical integral reality disappears when we have faith in things that may or may not exist. There is no place in integral assured reality for faith because of how faith leads to ambiguity of the entire reality, defeating the purpose of the roots of integral reality: objective reality, all the way up to the realization of integral reality.

I find also interesting that Baudrillard brings forth this integral reality, not only to come from objective reality, but to not involve the imaginary. The removal of the imaginary from this reality removes the possibility of seeing anything and understanding anything other than what we see and understand.  The removal of faith in things, and the removal of the imaginary along with the required understanding and seeing only of our own perceptions creates the integral reality that is stated by Baudrillard to be the only thing we can rely upon.

I disagree with Baudrillard’s inference to integral reality because of the fact that there is more to be understood than one can understand at one infinitesimal moment. I disagree with the removal of ambiguous faiths, and the imaginary as well, further supporting my disagreement with integral reality.

First, Baudrillard’s elimination of faiths (mostly in God) from reality is wrong because of the fact that a possible existence of a God cannot be ruled out. The elimination of faiths  is impended on integral reality because the reality wouldn’t be integral if we had to rely on faiths to understand  and see things. Integral reality is reality that is for sure to exist because of how we perceive and understand it. Reality would not be like this if we had faiths. A faith in God within integral reality makes the concept disappear because of how the faith defeats the purpose of reality being integral. My main point to make is that an integral reality is not possible to declare, but first I want to say why removal of faiths is not logical. When I talk about faith, not only do I mean faith in God, but I want to attempt at meaning a faith in anything. My faith is in God, but many other faiths exist. I state that faith is not logically removed because we are here now, and we cannot understand how the world came to be. If we were around when it was created, and saw it, faiths could probably be eliminated, but we are here now. Because we are here now, we have to have hypotheses based on faith on how the world came to be, and how we came to exist here. No scientific or cosmological data can be established to affirm the method of creation, so we have to rely on some faith or another. Hypotheses about creation may lead one to believe that the Big Bang Theory is how the world and us came to exist, but because the person endorsing it cannot know it for sure based on perceptions, a faith is naturally present. The same goes for one believing in Genesis creation by God. Because of this creation leading to hypotheses, faiths cannot be eliminated because none of us were there for the creation.

Second, the imaginary cannot be eliminated from any reality. We see and perceive things on a daily basis, creating our understanding, but because we have this understanding does not mean that our brains are not capable of brain storming outside it. Even when we have involuntary dreams while sleeping, some of the dreams are so incredibly weird and far fetched that it cannot possibly conform or even be compared to the way things are in common reality. The imaginary can usually be repeated in reality regardless of how weird the imagination is. Just because our brains can conceive so much more than what is perceived in reality, the imaginary cannot be eliminated from any reality.

I state why Baudrillard is false in removing the imaginary and the faiths because they are rooted in why declaration of an integral reality is wrong. Integral reality is wrong for the same reason that solipsism is wrong. Reality and understanding cannot be stated to be based upon perceptions and what we see and therefore understand. There are many things beyond our perception and understanding that we cannot at first even pick up, but because of this, it does not mean that we should just resort to saying that reality is only what we see. There is a void of things we cannot even perceive or conceive of, but because of that we have the imaginary, and we have faith about hypotheses in things that we find ambiguous. Because we cannot immediately define the existence of every exact thing does not mean we should eliminate the faith in things, or the imaginary. Without faiths, there would be no progressive hypotheses progressing to prove the things we have faith in. If there was no faith in the existence of God, there would have never been a forever long debate between philosophers about proving the existence of God by theodicies. Faiths help us progress to understanding the world around us, and to sift through what is truth and falsity. The imaginary not being available to the human would prevent the creation of ideas, inventions, and anything else that helps and progresses the state of the world. Imaginary not being around would prevent a lot of the progression of society and the world because we would not have the visions to create or the ideas to make real. It is my opinion that faiths and the imaginary cannot be removed from any conception of reality.

Restricting reality to just  what we perceive and understand defeats the purpose of defining reality. We cannot deny that we have imaginary constantly, and that our hypotheses about the ambiguous lends the existence of faiths. The impossible denial of these things makes integral reality false and also makes Baudrillard’s definition not able to be classified as reality of any kind. Baudrillard stated the elimination of the imaginary and of faiths because of how they may be thought of as to defeat the purpose of a reality. It is truthful, in my opinion, that some of reality is not instantaneously real. This non-instantaneously real reality falsely lead Baudrillard into defining the false integral reality. Integral reality is the reality we perceive and understand when most of the reality in the world is beyond what one person, and even all people understand and perceive, therefore making integral reality a false entity.

After having just recently written a symposium paper for Prolegomena Journal about Wittgenstein’s solipsism and neutral monism, I think that Baudrillard’s integral reality coincides directly with Wittgenstein’s solipsism. Both integral reality and solipsism limit reality to what one person perceives and understand, and it denies the existence of things a person cannot immediately grasp. I find that very interesting how two philosophers that are basically unrelated can come together based on their concepts.

Comment below on how credible you think integral reality is, and how reality should be limited and reduced.