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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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