Sunday, November 12, 2006

What is Simulacrum ?

In simple terms, Simulacrum (plural: Simulacra) is a 'copy' without a 'original'. The definition of simulacra has evolved over ages and specific meanings and connotations has been provided that has varied context across different bodies of work (Doctrine of the 'Eternal Return', The book 'Simulacra and Simulation' ...)

Some context:
  • Universe being a simulacrum without a original which recurres eternally.
  • Simulacra of the beings where the copy is true without a model (model being a theory). This has branches of study around semiotics and biosemiotics.
  • God is a Simulacrum.
  • A-Life (Artifical Life) is a Simulacrum
"Simulacres et Simulation" a French publication by Jean Baudrillard explores the philosophical juxtaposition of the 'real' and the 'hyperreal'. This philosophy seems to be making sense in the context of the modern world. Even so more applicable to the surrealism of software development practices, religious beliefs, politics, entertainment or whatever discipline one can think of. An interesting quote from Jean Baudrillard states,

"The simulacrum is never that conceals the truth -- it is the truth which conceals that there is none"

The simulacrum is true.

What is of specific interest to me as a author as I conceive it and will continue to blog, is that "Technology is a Simulacrum". The context of technology being that we try to create a copy of 'idealized original'. The idealized original, be it a PRD (Product Requirement Document), Service Requirements for a project or even a perceived market making function of a latent demand of a specific need. In the process we create simulacra, which are imperfect copies of the original and that which is driven by a desire to be like the original or surpass it.

Thinking about it, my blog is a simulacrum of what I perceive, that technology being a simulacra, and is a self fulfilling prophecy of recurrence. So the title "The Simulacrum".

I hope to capture (to my ability and bandwidth that is) my thoughts and perceptions around the assertions, lemma or postulates (being the idealized original) of specific technologies and the simulacrum around the same. I am hoping to stick to this general frame of thought as much as possible during my blogs.

'The hope' being the idealized original prediction and 'the blog' being the simulacrum !

1 comment:

Cristina said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.