A Copy and Paste of Emotional Propaganda and the Rise of Digital Value Exchange
“A simulacrum (plural: simulacra from Latin: simulacrum, which means “likeness, similarity”) is a representation or imitation of a person or thing. The word was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god. By the late 19th century, it had gathered a secondary association of inferiority: an image without the substance or qualities of the original.”
French philosopher Jean Baudrillard published Simulacra and Simulation in 1988 and it became semi-popular after appearing in the Matrix at the beginning when Neo opens the cover of a “fake” book to remove money. Simulacra and Simulation was one of the more challenging books to read and comprehend over the years alongside The Construction of Social Reality by John Searle. Both expanded my understanding of the world and how it’s outer edges can be defined consciously through mass propaganda and through the realization that there are many layers built within the construct we call reality.
The world as we know it is a collection or accumulation, of both conscious and subconscious agreements around what things are, or can be, with the potential of all things pre-determined and built within the construct itself. An exercise which each individual can do is to observe something as it is and not as you have been conditioned to believe it is. A tree is a good subject for such a personal exercise but the exercise itself becomes more complex and challenging when we observe objects or concepts which have been built by humans and are used for a specific purpose.
A surface example of this could be around observing a game of hockey. Most understand the rules of hockey and the intent of the game, but this is only because we have been conditioned to see it that way. Observe without knowledge and you see that it is just a bunch of people on skates with sticks chasing a puck around on the ice. Once we all collectively agree what the rules and purpose are then we begin to see that the actions of each individual are a part of a much more complex construct. But yet, the raw observation remains as the base truth of what is taking place. The rules of the game have changed over the years but the original observation remains separate of the rules.
This is a simple example of a complex process which takes place on the conscious and subconscious levels but does provide a good example of how we all agree to shape and construct the simulation of reality. Writing in Simulacra and Simulation philosopher Baudrillard states the following:
“When the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning. There is a proliferation of myths of origin and signs of reality; of second-hand truth, objectivity and authenticity. There is an escalation of the true, of the lived experience; a resurrection
of the figurative where the object and substance have disappeared. And there is a panic-stricken production of the real and the referential, above and parallel to the panic of material production. This is how simulation appears in the phase that concerns us: a
strategy of the real, neo-real and hyperreal, whose universal double is a strategy of deterrence.”
Re-read the above several times and consider how propaganda uniquely focuses on the past, present, and future in slightly different variations. Yet, all seem to leverage human emotion as opposed to human logic for the greatest impact. As Baudrillard states, “…nostalgia assumes its full meaning.” Propaganda itself is an illogical concept but is extremely effective as an emotional tool which can assist in the building of a narrative reality which serves as a simulacrum of the original reality, which then, henceforth, becomes obscured and tossed aside.
Once emotional propaganda takes root it quickly begins to copy and paste itself throughout the simulation, or social construct, and before long the new becomes that which always was and will always be – the “truth” which is broadly accepted. Those who deny this truth collect on the fringe of the social construct and throw emotional bombs back into the simulation in the hope that one of them can self-replicate, copy and paste itself, and become a new viral truth which can take over the simulacrum from within.
Every time there is a fundamental shift in how the world functions there can always be found this underlying construct of emotional propaganda and social reality. It takes time for “ideas” to take hold and spread. We are seeing it now in real-time as the transition between the traditional monetary framework and the new digital framework takes place.
There are many reasons this transition is fascinating to observe but none so more than that which has been described above. There are enough people writing about the surface layer of the emerging digital world of value exchange. It is worthwhile to explore and describe the deeper aspects as they are happening so that readers have the opportunity to observe the simulation as it builds itself. Based on the concept above, we can place Bitcoin in the nostalgia category of emotional recognition as new digital assets emerge and contribute to the construction of this new social and monetary reality.
Mass adoption and acceptance will be determined now by how fast the simulacra can copy and paste itself through human emotional connections. I would put forward the conclusion that everyone who has heard of cryptocurrency has already built some level of emotional connection to the concept itself. Now observe as these connections merge together into a collective reality which will become the truth which always was and will always be.
“The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”
This article is copyrighted by POM Media©2019. As Premium content, permission is not given to be copied and re-posted.
JC Collins can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org