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The Information Bomb (Radical Thinkers) by Paul Virilio

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By Paul Virilio

Virilio's exploration of the connection among know-how, pace, struggle and data expertise weaves jointly a wide ranging worldview of horror, excitement and wish.

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2 To astonish the audience, Copperfield will in future have to make not a dove disappear, but a Boeing - or something even bigger. 2 Absolute certainty inaccessible to any criticism and resistant even to the clearest of evidence. THE INFORMATION BOMB 87 Similarly, with regard to the surprising collective suicide of the Heaven's Gate sect, no one has really asked how these computer experts came to believe themselves capable of conjuring themselves away physically into an eternal realm, aided by a particular astronomic conjuncture.

Bill Clinton was first elected because he looked like Kennedy and because Hillary, his wife, was believed to have undergone various forms of plastic surgery. The popular media then set about their only daughter, a pleasant adolescent of thirteen but not exacdy prepossessing. She had to modify her appearance to enable her father to win victory in the presidential election of 1996. These examples have been followed elsewhere and political supermodels have increased in number in recent years the world over.

THE INFORMATION BOMB 49 Not wanting to be left behind, the classical music world also joined in, and the respectable Opera de Paris staged Rossini's Italian Girl in Algiers in a 'hardcore' version in which the 'director revelled in allusions (pairs of inflatable breasts, simulations of rectal penetration, Turkish massages) without, however, daring to become pornographic,' complained a Parisian critic. ' she explained, indicating her prices. This slippage which was occurring from the culture market (and even hypermarket)4 to the pornography market became a cause for concern to the genuine professionals of the night, who saw a large number of their traditional outlets slipping away.

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