Of all the catalogued monsters, real, literary or (merely) imagined, there is none so fearsome, nor lethally effective, as the dreaded “mimesis.” Any and all conceivable attempts at illustration, say, with T- Rex, Godzilla, Sasquatch or the Jabberwocky would pale by comparison. This monster grows daily, and exponentially, and poses an ever- increasing, existential threat to mankind, and society. By reason of its yet unexperienced results there seems to be little effort to eradicate, or even control, the contemptible beast.
“Mimesis,” a word of ancient Greek origin, denotes an attempt to replicate, or reproduce reality. Theatrical productions may be a useful example, in which real life, as expected, is imitated on the stage. Contrasted with the benign phenomenon of theatrical imitation of reality, we have been troubled about a harmfull, pervasive, willingness, in the real world, to favor the appearance or, “mimesis,” of reality (“virtual reality”) as compared to it’s true authenticity.
We have, in past posts, expressed our serious concern regarding the widespread, elective use of electronic devices (for example,” smartphones”) as a preferred alternate to real conversation. We have especially criticised the impersonality of interaction brought about by such practice. The exchange of data-like symbols on a small lighted screen, instead of the benefits of spontaneous response, voice nuance and recognition, and the ability to express emphasis or emotion, makes for a very costly mimesis. We worry about the loss of normal and useful societal interraction, especially, in regard to the younger generations to whom this mimises is quite unremarkable and normal.
The greedy monster has hungrily devoured a significant portion of the individual’s way of life, selfishly taking, as its exhorbitant price, one’s personal assurance as to his own ability to exercise reason, and the pleasure and confidence that accompaniess the final attainment of the solution. The smart phone’s factuual response to requests for information, albeit correct, adds confidence and prestige to no one. “It is faster and saves time”, you would declare; but time for what, more reliance upon other robotics; probably not valuable time to be spent in the exercise of reason and the pursuit of self-advancement, which does, in fact, take time.
Prior to the attack of our dreaded monster, one diligently pursued solutions to problems by frequenting the library, consulting experts, the encyclopedia and relevant texts, by empirical trial and error, and the proper exercise of personal contemplation and analysis. Such problem solving was evidence of the intended use of evolution’s most generous gift to homo sapiens of an advanced brain; it created confidence and was a pathway to the further development of man’s problem solving capability. Personal trial and error, instruction, where available, and the use of reason was historically, man’s route to advancement. The failure to use and rely upon human reason, in favor of “more covenient” memises, could conceivably, lead to its atrophy [see: earlier post, “THE BRAIN AND THE APPENDIX”]. The “easy way,” may actually lead, in time, to disasterous human disfunction, a casualty of the lethal monster, “Mimesis.”
Evolution’s development [by primates] of an “opposable thumb” was, without question, a significant anatomical advance; but Nature did not have the capability foresee its use for such retrograde purposes.