Monday, August 28, 2023

American Unreality: To Lie and Be Believed has Become the Only Right

American Unreality:
To lie and be believed has become the only right.
Ersatz or artificial substitutes for products used to be a wartime necessity. Americans and other westerners have long since accepted the ubiquity of ersatz products for real ones. Everything from butter to maple syrup to meat is replaced with substitutes for dietary or economic reasons.
The ‘ersatzization’ of food has been more than overmatched by the same phenomenon in our culture. Artificially generated images and essays are treated as if they were the work of some higher artificial intelligence rather than just the digitally remixed work of actual humans.
And men are treated as women as long as they insist that they really are women.
Objective measures of reality have fallen by the wayside in favor of a subjective materialism in which it matters only what something appears to be or what we think it is, not what it really is.
The consensual illusion of ersatz foods in which we all know what we’re eating even if we occasionally pretend it’s the real thing has made way for ersatz money, ersatz art, ersatz science, ersatz politics and even ersatz women. With the latter the right to pretend, to pose as something you are not, has evolved into a civil right. To lie and be believed has eclipsed freedom of speech and the traditional rights of women, not to mention science and reality.
Illusion became delusion along a road that began with mass communications and ended with emulation in the entertainment and technology industries as the highest form of art. Emulation, like most subversive arts, required deconstruction. To duplicate a thing, whether it was a scream, a sentence or a human body, we had to deconstruct it into its components and, once deconstructed, it was all too easy to confuse the components and the illusion with the whole.
Rachel Levine: Transgender official sworn in as four-star admiral
Transgender activists claim that they’re women because they wear makeup, put on dresses, adopt feminine mannerisms, and, in some cases, take hormones and get castrated. It is significant that the latter are not even real requirements. The only real requirements for transgender status are external imitation and internal conviction. In an artificial age, what we believe and what we pretend to be is what we are. Those who do this are the children of a world where fortunes, stock value, political office and academic credentials are built on illusions.
The dark side of the scientific pursuit of truth was the conviction that by understanding how things in the natural world were made, we could duplicate them and become gods. Our belief that we have achieved this has vastly outstripped the reality where our limited successes stalled early on in the atomic age. The triumph and horror of the detonation of the atomic bomb remains a compelling subject because it appeared to open a new age when it actually closed it. The everyday hard technologies that underpin modern civilization already existed then. All we have succeeded in doing since is to make them cheaper, more efficient and more accessible.
It took the evolution of computer technology for us to enter a world that seemed in line with our inflated sense of our capabilities. Within those systems, programmers appeared able to create worlds and rewrite the rules of reality. Outside them, radicals who had soured on the old socialist vision of industrial progress turned to romanticism and manufactured the myth that human technology, nuclear and industrial, was on the verge of destroying the world.
The myth of man as the destroyer of worlds, propounded by Oppenheimer, a weak man pretending to be terrified of his own strength, was not a response to technological potency, but impotence. Environmentalism was not a reaction to the accelerating speed of technological change, which was actually slowing down, but to a cultural response to the death of progress.
The atomic age’s conviction that experts and scientists would be able to solve all our problems and usher in a better world had faltered and that opened the way for the counterculture to make its case that technological progress was not the solution. While America had sharply reduced poverty, spread prosperity and increased lifespans, these great achievements in daily life had not fulfilled the promise of a future that would sweep away all the social problems of the world. --->READ MORE HERE
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