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#161484 - 08/13/06 10:48 AM Looking for the right word...  
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aortomus Offline
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aortomus  Offline
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I know there is a word, whether it is scientific in nature, or other for a process that is happening culturally.

Here's the idea. It used to be that postage stamps had images of ideals, whether of figures or events, and these revered by our culture. Now we have images of cartoon characters, movie actors/actresses and other icons of culture.

From a religious point of view, it used to be that many of our figures of speech came from Holy Writ. Now many figures of speech come from movie quotes or song lyrics.

Metaphors and symbolic stories used to be taken from Holy Writ to help us make sense of our lives. Nowadays such stories come from movies. Rather than "This reminds me of the story of Job..." we say "Reminds me of that scene from Caddyshack."

So we have created our own cultural religion, so to speak, the reservoir from which we draw for inspiration and understanding. Books, movies and songs now refer to other books, movies and songs in a continuing self-referential manner.

It seems to me like cultural implosion, spiraling toward an end, gasping for breath, slowly losing consciousness.

I'm not sure if that makes sense. Entropy is kind of the idea, that energy ultimately heads toward disorder but that's not quite it. It isn't disorder that we head toward but a type of suffocation or choking where even meaning itself ceases to have any external definition.

I'm more interested in a word for the process rather than the end result, if such a word in fact exists.

Desublimation is close, as well, the idea that what was once held sacred by the culture is now relegated to base or common, drained of any higher meaning or value it once held.

Sorry to be so chatty...

#161485 - 08/13/06 11:08 AM Re: Looking for the right word...  
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Hydra Offline
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You sound like Jean Baudrillard on The End of History and Meaning.

Edit: I don't know of any word for the process you are describing, but I think if you follow up words that recur in Post-Modernist discourse about a similar idea of a diminishing frame of self-referentiality -- words like Hyperreality and Simulacrum -- you'll be heading in the right direction.

Or perhaps you just mean secularization.

Last edited by Hydra; 08/13/06 12:30 PM.
#161486 - 08/13/06 12:45 PM Re: Looking for the right word...  
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aortomus Offline
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aortomus  Offline
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Quote:

...a diminishing frame of self-referentiality...




That's the clearest expression of what I am getting at that I've heard. Thanks.

I'm familiar with Baudrillard's work, at least by name. I tried to read his Simulacra and Simulation and got maybe a chapter into it and almost drowned. Perhaps now I am ready for it. I will definitely make another attempt at it.

#161487 - 08/13/06 01:08 PM Re: Looking for the right word...  
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
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> It seems to me like cultural implosion, spiraling toward an end, gasping for breath, slowly losing consciousness.

perhaps we're just in a phase transition.


formerly known as etaoin...
#161488 - 08/13/06 03:20 PM Re: Looking for the right word...  
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aortomus Offline
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aortomus  Offline
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Quote:

perhaps we're just in a phase transition




Could very well be. I hope so because I'm losing my ability to breathe...

#161489 - 08/13/06 05:24 PM Consumer cost index  
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musick Offline
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musick  Offline
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I hope so because I'm losing my ability to breathe...

The increase in *recomposed solids floating around in the available gases will do that...

#161490 - 08/14/06 12:50 AM Re: Consumer cost index  
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
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Vermont
> I'm losing my ability to breathe...

go outside. take a walk. talk to some regular folks. climb a mountain, or at least a hill. watch the sunset. watch the sunrise.

life ain't over.


formerly known as etaoin...
#161491 - 08/14/06 09:55 AM Re: Prosumer price index  
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Faldage Offline
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But, but... The paradigms are shifting before my very eyes. I can't keep my feet on strait.

#161492 - 08/14/06 10:25 AM Re: Prosumer price index  
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sjmaxq Offline
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Te Ika a Maui
Quote:

But, but... The paradigms are shifting before my very eyes. I can't keep my feet on strait.




Twenty cents on the move makes your feet wide?

#161493 - 08/14/06 11:37 AM Re: Prosumer price index  
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Alex Williams Offline
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Alex Williams  Offline
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Quote:

Prosumer price index




Ah, another Sunday NYT crossword fan I presume?

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