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Into the Universe of Technical Images$
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Vilém Flusser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670208

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670208.001.0001

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To Suffer

To Suffer

(p.141) To Suffer
Into the Universe of Technical Images

Vilém Flusser

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers the so-called economic infrastructure of the emerging telematic society by using a social model, namely, that of Platonic utopia, slightly adjusted. According to Plato, we are beings who have fallen from heaven (topos uranikos) into the world of appearances (phainomena). At home in heaven, we saw eternal and durable ideas in their logical order. Falling into the world, we were engulfed in the river of forgetting (Lethe), and its waters washed away all memory of the Ideas. We have forgotten them. So we come into the world as beings without ideas (idiots), and we can live out an entire idiotic life in the world, turning in circles. This self-motivated idiotic life follows the order of a kitchen (oikonomia), and Plato also calls it zoon oikonomikon: the economic life. In utopia, three forms of life exist: economy, politics, and philosophy. In the social model, the key word is leisure, and its opposite, business. In a telematic society, everyone lives at leisure and where all work (economy) and all effects (politics) become subhuman.

Keywords:   economic infrastructure, social model, utopia, Plato, economic life, economy, politics, philosophy, leisure, telematic society

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