Media Life, Baudrillard, Plato, and the Real

This week we're finishing the Spring Semester here at Indiana University, which also means our University Division, 400-student course T101 Media Life is drawing to a close. Let me take this moment to embed the final slides of this course (all slideshows are available at Slideshare, search slides tagged with "T101").

In this lecture, I'm making the argument that media do not reflect nor direct us, but instead make reality (by providing the key ingredients for meaning-making). Using Baudrillard's critique of the Platonic allegory of the cave-based treatment of reality (as the simulation it is) in The Matrix trilogy, I move on to consider our experience of a media life as that of Truman Burbank in the 1998 movie The Truman Show, with one exception: there is no exit. I end with Baudrillard's call for "theoretical violence, not truth" - something that inspires everything I do (I hope, I wish).