Underlinings (#9)

This needed doing:

[For Baudrillard] Disney, in other words, facilitates ‘hyperreality’ — a semiotic form of cognitive closure — by rendering consumers blind to their blindness. Disney, on the semiotic account, is an ideological neglect machine. Its primary social function is to provide cognitive anaesthesia to the masses, to keep them as docile and distracted as possible. Let’s call this the ‘Disney function,’ or Df. For humanities scholars, as a rule, Df amounts to the production of hyperreality, the politically pernicious conflation of simulation and reality. […] In what follows, I hope to demonstrate what might seem a preposterous figure/field inversion. What I want to argue is that the semiotician has Df all wrong — Disney is actually a far more complicated beast — and that the production of hyperreality, if anything, belongs to his or her own interpretative practice. My claim, in other words, is that the ‘politically pernicious conflation of simulation and reality’ far better describes the social function of semiotics than it does Disney.

(Selected as a taster. Of course, read it all.)

ADDED: Part two.

As a bonus, the latest on Bakker at Dark Ecologies.

East and West

A crash-course in Nisbett at Business Insider:

According to cultural philosophers, Westerners and East Asians have had contrasting views about the concept of truth and how it works for thousands of years — and it shows up in present-day psychology.
It all goes back to the cradles of two civilizations: ancient Greece and ancient China.
It comes down to two different “laws”:
• The Greeks followed the “law of the excluded middle,” which states that if two people are debating, then one of them must be exclusively right and the other exclusively wrong.
• The Chinese followed the “doctrine of mean,” which states that if two people are debating, then they’re probably both partly right and partly wrong — the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
These things have deep roots. …

Poke at the argument just a little, and it goes excitedly recursive.