Social Metaphors and Meaning in Fourth Order Simulacra

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    Jean Baudrillard?s theory of the three orders simulacra as addressed in Simulations and Simulacra (1981)is well documented, well read and well, done. However, when addressing his theory of the fourth order of fractals and its variant forms, criticism tends to err on the side of caution and implies rather than explicates the meaning behind the metaphor. There are explanations for this reticence. On first inspection the fourth order appears to be a prosthesis of simulation, however, just like a fractal under closer examination, what is immediately apparent is not always definitive. Therefore, through using pictorial reference to fractal sets this paper looks to redress the balance and examine the methods in which fractals can be used not as theoretical empirical methods of reading the social, but as metaphors, operating as a system where different phenomena can be observed as reaching what Frank Tipler regards to be the Omega point, a locus of technological determinacy which are considered to be a singularity. The critical introduction of Tipler?s work revises the Baudrilladrian idea of singularities evolving from outside of the system, and instead argues that singularities are an inherent product of the system itself.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Baudrillard Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Jan 2014


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