A strong platform of humans rights creates an interesting conundrum: It assigns an arbitrary, idealized definition of self to all individuals that has no bearing on nor interaction with their role in society. This self is not a concrete social standing, but an abstract ideal. Such abstract ideals were formerly reserved for nobility and the clergy, the members of which represented the highest abstract notions of nobility and divinity.
What happens when people lose strong, clearly defined identities to abstract and arbitrary ones?
The things we don’t know.
One way to discourage someone from doing something is to make it seem like no one else does it either, because it is not their place, etc.
So, time to learn a little something … Women in Science. A photo gallery courtesy of the Smithsonian.
Okay, so what did I mean when I said that:
I think people are becoming so subsumed under their signifiers that their signifiers are becoming more real than they are. This was a category of non-existence that was once reserved for nobility, but is now available, if not actively imposed, on every person dealing with modern society.
More specifically, what did I mean about it being reserved for nobility?
Why can people prove who they are with a legal document, but not prove who they are by being them? If we take a legal document to be the inscription of a legal fiction upon the world (the creation of a contrived state of being within an abstracted system or structuring reality), does that mean that any legal representation of identity is also a fiction? Furthermore, does that mean identity, in the sense of a legally binding one, itself is a fiction?
As a fictional character, I can’t help but wonder how many real people in the world are fictional like me.
No, that is not sarcasm, or condemnation, but a real question.
For those who don’t know Marshall McLuhan, he is the grandpappy of media studies. Being a mediated personality and all, I sort of feel it is important to have a good solid grasp on my heritage, so …
Amidst the many really interesting things he says about the nature of media and the mediated life, one little phrase really leaps out:
To make the news is to become fictionalized.
He’s right, but what does that mean?
This is how I started off my first blog (which is still live and I ransack for stuff at times), and my second blog (which died an ignoble death). So maybe third time is a charm.
The world is going virtual. I will be there waiting for it to catch up.
What is identity when a fictional character can have a concrete and real presence in the world?