Jean Baudrillard is not dead

March 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm (places, theory, web 2.0)

In my attempt to bring you the latest and greatest of this new technology, I bring you Sidestep–a search engine that allows you to search search engines (how Web 2.0 is that?). My husband and I are trying to go to Vegas in the summer (Fremont Street and $1 blackjack, here I come!) and Sidestep actually searches all of the other travel sites to find the best deal. Very cool.

We’re thinking of staying at the Luxor–what better example of Vegas opulence is there? Once of the seven wonders of the world, shrunk down and lit up. The ancient Egyptians would have done it if they’d had the electricity.

The Luxor--the hyperreal

Which brings me of course to Jean Baudrillard, who died just recently. Baudrillard was big on hyperreality, a concept that at its very basic core was about the overwhelming existence of communication channels–we have so much contact that we can no longer distinguish reality from fantasy. So, the pyramid to us may represent prosperity, the glory of man over nature, eternal life–but in reality it’s just a stack of bricks. It’s the meaning that we place with these symbols that becomes reality for us, despite the fact that the meaning is not real. The creators of the Luxor are trying to invoke these thoughts of grandeur, and draw us to its beacon.

The simulacrum of the pyramid would have pleased Baudrillard, I think, should he have believed that pleasure was pleasure. I don’t know if he ever went to Vegas, but he probably would have liked it.

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2 Comments

  1. Ryan said,

    Liked it…I don’t know- I think he may find the artificiality difficult to stomach. He probably would have found the place worthy of a book though.

  2. Mike said,

    I love SideStep! I use them for everything. Deals to Vegas are usually great, but they have them for everywhere. I’ll never use anything else.

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