Virtual Reality

“We risk being the first people in history to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so ‘realistic’ that they can live in them. We are the most illusioned people on earth. Yet we dare not become disillusioned, because our illusions are the very house in which we live; they are our news, our heroes, our adventure, our forms of art, our very experience.”

This is not a recent quote. This is from The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America written by Daniel J. Boorstin in 1962. A good friend tipped me to this quote and I downloaded and skimmed Boorstin’s book – I’ll dig deeper later but this quote got me to thinking about this question:

Has the technological revolution experienced since WWII made America more susceptible to the freedom of capitalism or the serfdom of communism?

When I think about it, it is actually a pretty tough call. On the one hand, it has brought a higher standard of living to more people, a level virtually unheard of in the history of history. On the other, it has, as Boorstin wrote, created “illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so ‘realistic’ that [people] can live in them.” At a very minimum, it appears that we have reached a tipping point.

Marxism is allied with postmodernism in that both of these “philosophies” are based on 1) there is no universal or objective “truth”, 2) history has no value in attempting to define “truth”, 3) “reality” can only be understood in the terms of the beholder – since “truth” cannot be objectively understood, it can only be experienced by the beholder and is therefore relative to that particular person’s point of view at that specific point in time and under those exact circumstances.

I have never heard of a more idiotic attempt to explain reality than this bunch of pseudo-intellectual twaddle. As one reads the news today, it is easy to envision the image of a 32 year old Timothy Leary wanna-be career student, writing his doctoral thesis after inhaling a bowl or two to mellow out the harshness of the mind expanding LSD he just dropped – but it does explain why progressives can rationalize almost anything – like how a person can just decide to deny their biological identity or why “progressives” style themselves and their leaders as philosopher-kings and why a common retort is “I can’t explain it to you because you just wouldn’t understand” (which is code for “I don’t have a clue but I don’t want you to know that and I’ll never admit my ignorance so I’ll just keep talking.”)

Stunning is the brashness of these so called “progressives” who engage in this absolute and total lunacy. At any other period in American history these people would have been laughingstocks and ridden out of town on a rail. Why in the hell are these people even given the time of day? Life is real. Life has consequences and those consequences don’t believe in post-modernistic/deconstructionist twaddle. There are real people being hurt by these dime store philosophies and poseur philosopher-kings.

“Progressives” owe their very existence to Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels also shared an aversion for history, writing:

“In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”

If one critically examines the past, the basis for communism – the antagonism between labor and capital – would be proven to be a fallacy by every individual who ever rose from poverty to wealth – people like Andrew Carnegie who came to America penniless and became one of the richest men of his era were living proof that Marx was wrong…so like the post-modernists and the deconstructionists, Marx and Engels just dispensed with the nasty business of history disagreeing with them.

In a sense, that is what the virtual world does today – it allows people to create for themselves (and others can create for them) a virtual world devoid of rules and the burden of historical results and facts. It isn’t so much that Bernie supporters are ignorant, it is as Reagan said, the just know so much that isn’t so. It is also one of the reasons progressives work so hard to deny the most real of threats, terrorism, because it yields real results as evidenced by real body counts.

Think about how much of your daily interactions are actually in the virtual world…between using telepresence, email and instant messaging at work and diddling with Facebook, Instagram and running a blog, I would wager that over 50% of my daily interactions are electronic…and I don’t play on-line games. When I work from my home office, that number goes to 70%. I get maybe 20% of my news from print media – I skim 7-10 global newspapers online every day, I don’t even get the print version of the WSJ any longer.

It occurs to me that people are not always willfully ignorant, sometimes the just don’t know what they don’t know because they haven’t had the need to know…and that opens the door to fighting the knowing of things that disagree with our virtual existence – the fight to “…not become disillusioned, because our illusions are the very house in which we live; they are our news, our heroes, our adventure, our forms of art, our very experience.”

We live in dangerous times.

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