Wednesday, March 7, 2007

RIP, Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard died today at age 77. I don't suppose everyone has a favorite living philosopher, but I am just the nerd to have had one. Baudrillard's prevailing theory was that representation and simulation have become more important than reality.

The Matrix trilogy included references to his book Simulacra and Simulation although Baudrillard claimed the Wachowskis misunderstood his work. He was probably most famous for saying the first Gulf War "did not take place" as it was a media event and not a war.

Baudrillard was often dismissed by many in the field of philosophy, but this was before a world where every move of Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith's corpse are reported in the headlines. Now, perhaps Baudrillard will finally get his due.

As my friend said today when he called to report his passing: "Baudrillard has died or did he?".


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