Reality is turning into Simulacra. Bitcoin Tech Talk #254
One of the most interesting essays I read the past few years is this one by Paul A. Cantor, which is, surprisingly, a literary critique about a short story by Thomas Mann. Unlike most literary analyses, this one is written from a more libertarian perspective and really develops a lot of interesting ideas in light of the short story. The short story is set in Weimar Republic Era Germany and Cantor makes a literary analysis which not coincidentally includes economic aspects of that era.
The essay is worth reading in full and gives a lot of food for thought, but one particular thing that struck me is a concept he introduces which is that of a simulacrum. By definition, it’s an image or representation of something, but for the purposes of the essay, he uses the definition by Baudrillard, a French philosopher. A simulacrum is a copy, paradoxically without the original.
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