Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Delusional Illusions

-If Virtual Reality systems actually begin to be installed in people’s homes and are effective in their illusion of reality, this will represent the greatest event in human evolution. For the first time, mankind will be able to deny reality and substitute its own preferred vision.- (J. G. Ballard; Blitz 1984) 

-A huge inward migration is taking place at the moment: people are retreating from the outside world into the inner world. When Virtual Reality arrives, it won’t be necessary to go anywhere.- (J. G. Ballard; Seconds 1996) 

As I work my way, slowly and thoughtfully, through this wonderful book of quotes, I continue to come across ideas that resonate with my own way of thinking. The above two quote deal with concepts I've been thinking about a lot lately as I play with them within the novel I'm currently writing. 

If reality is flawed, are we better off substituting it with one of our own making? If one chooses to do that, what are the real-life consequences? If a whole society switches off, what will sustain it?

Of course, the literary world is ripe with novels exploring this type of dystopian future. And I think, provided modern civilization doesn't implode before then, we will face these kind of questions. My exploration of it though is on an individual level and the tangled web woven when imagination and sanity get twisted together. As to what I've'll have to wait a little while for that.

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