13 January 2008


In our hyper-modern world we now frequently experience cultures in simulation. We might know more about a simulated world than the actual one we live in; or maybe we "live" in two worlds: a virtual one and the actual "meat" world (I am not coining the term).

When first reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 1970s, I studied the endpage maps showing Mordor and Mirkwood and fantasized about Middle Earth, but I did not assume an alter ego and move about in the fantasy world of hobbits and wizards. Or did I? Is the difference only the sophistication of the technology--a book (and a mind) versus cyberspatial virtual reality?

With Walt Disney World's newest addition--Expedition Everest-- now open, it fuels the thought in me of the further Disneyfication of the world, of reality. Will New Orleans become a Disneyfied version of itself? Why not let Las Vegas build a nicer version (don't need to smell the dankness or fear the crime). Why go to Paris when it is re-created in Vegas? Look around: Aren't we being assailed with geographic simulacra?

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