Foundational And Transitional Thinking
Is hyperreality better than reality?
As technology advances, the distinctions between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ blur in the human experience. The resulting union is a hyperreality. Nicholas Oberly said, “The slippage of reality, its elusiveness encountered even in a basic search for a definition, is an element of the hyperreal — a condition in which the distinction between the ‘real’ and the imaginary implodes”. An individual who is engaged in a hyperreality might not be able to distinguish the difference between what is real and what is not because everything seems real to them.
Vertical reality gaming has increased in popularity over the last few years. The technology has become so good that the game environment gives the illusion that the gamer is taking part in reality when they are in the game world. This mixture results in a hyperreal experience. The players reality becomes the gaming world even though it is imaginary.
Hyperreality offers an escape from a potentially miserable reality. Perhaps, people who have a mediocre reality are far more likely to pursue a hyperreality. If someone’s reality is enjoyable, they will be less likely to need an escape experience. Whether or not hyperreality is better than reality depends on an individual’s life experience.
Does technology provide symbiosis between man and machine?
Human’s are becoming increasingly more dependent on technology. People are linked to their cellphones and often feel incomplete without them. Piercarlo Valdesolo said,
“new research has called “‘nomophobia’ (or, no-mobile-phone-phobia): (1) the feelings of anxiety or distress that some people experience when not having their phone, and (2) the degree to which we depend on phones to complete basic tasks and to fulfill important needs such as learning, safety and staying connected to information and to others”
The link between humans and their phones could have a connection to the growing symbiotic relationship of man and machine.
The marriage of man and machine could provide endless possibilities in advancement. If everyone’s brain was “plugged in” to google, access to information would be effortless. J.C.R. Licklider, in The New Media Reader, said,
“The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today”. (74)
Increased symbiosis would increase access to information but comprehension of information would have to increase as well. The average person might not benefit from 24/7 access to google because they would not understand the complexity of information. However, if humans were automatically connected from birth then it would be another part of the development process.