Thursday, February 18, 2010
Zion is also an illusion
The society of control operates through new media. Web 2.0’s information sharing, interpretability, and user-centered nature makes it the symbol of this empowering generation. The information franchise gives us the illusion that we are in a era where search engines, online forums, and all kinds of information resources are freeing our mind. Yet the new form of control is nowhere and everywhere. The richness of information and the freedom of speech offer a new form of control. Professor Chun said that “words are central to control.” Indeed, the new form of control operates through the strength of words and information. We are trapped in the information ocean of our own creation. There are simply too much information that we are numbed and we cannot think for ourselves any more. There’s no way we can avoid being controlled in at least some way: our resource of information has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere has to be man-made. When we think we are being saved by the “real”, we are actually being even more deceived by our over-optimistic vision of the utopia. “Utopia is the essence of any communication and social practice,” as Laclau puts it.