NY Times reports that Jean Baudrillard predicts the future (yet again).
Jean Baudrillard from Maleficent Ecology (1994):
"...the fact is that the imaginary, or experimental, model is in no way different from the real functioning of this society. Just as the whole of America is built in the image of Disneyland, so the whole of American society is carrying on - in real time and out in the open - the same experiment as Biosphere 2 which is therefore falsely experimental, just as Disneyland is only falsely imaginary."
NY Times (2006) :
"As it turns out, the real science experiment was going on outside, as development conquered vast swaths of the Sonoran Desert...The Biosphere was designed to simulate the Earth's environment. By succumbing to sprawl, it may have done just that."
Sprawl "contaminates" the site, not with disease, but with the expansion of sterility. What threatens to rise in its place is Biosphere Estates - yet another environmental simulation. The desert is transformed once more into a proving ground for survival (which is distinguished from living.) Biosphere 2 was at its inception an example of what Baudrillard calls "the ruins of the future." And Biosphere Estates fulfills his prophetic imagining: "One can imagine entire towns put together not from the wastes of what has already served a purpose and therefore retained some trace of its previous usage, but of things that were waste 'from the outset'..." The new residents will move into a prototypical survival station much in the same way the "bionauts" of Biosphere 2 entered their own hermetic tomb, this time, however, there will be much less fanfare. Similarly, the ranch houses become small-scale versions of the facility itself without the scientific fanfare. And thus the fundamental impetus behind this "artificial survival" leads us further into a Baudrillardian death - "The real planet, presumed condemned, is sacrificed in advance to its miniaturized, air-conditioned clone...which is designed to vanquish death by total simulation. In days gone by it was the dead who were embalmed for eternity; today, it is the living we embalm alive in a state of survival."
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