The Chaos Grid (Pt. II)

The Soul of the East

Natalya Irtenina is a Russian science-fiction writer of traditional Orthodox worldview. This is the second half of her essay “Tradition and Fleeting Senses of Being,” as translated by Mark Hackard. See Part I.

Appearance trumps reality. “Shooter” video games are nonsense, a toy, a means of ridding oneself of infantile aggression. Virtuality is not in computers, but in our minds. It is in the grid of the rhizome, the endless labyrinth with no exit – but there’s not even a desire to leave. Virtuality comes in ready forms supplied by the fashion industry, in conceptual “values,” false realities and simulations (image, esoterica for any taste, role-playing games, special effects, fantasy literature), in the endless chase for style items, the latest buzz in fashion, simulated ideas and the ideals of mass culture. In short, the simulacra acclaimed by Jean Baudrillard, who at once joyously pronounced “our virtual apocalypse” as…

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