Ship-in-a-Bottle: The Internet Hyperreality | Writing Forums
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Ship-in-a-Bottle: The Internet Hyperreality (1 Viewer)

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Senior Member
This is, in part, an extension of my previous posting "The Postmodern Self-portrait." As usual, comments, thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, and all else is greatly appreciated. Thanks once again!


Ship-in-a-Bottle: The Internet Hyperreality

Disney World, a Las Vegas casino, and the Internet have one very distinct common thread: they are all hyperrealities, a plane of life and existence beyond true life. Unlike the first two examples, the internet was not created with the intention of being such a massive hyperreality. In its original forms, the internet was designed primarily for the advancement of scientific research; in its current form, it is the most massive hyperreality in existence. It surpasses any cultural hyperreality by amalgamating people of all cultures into one superculture, one massive hyperreality. If the United States is a melting pot, the internet is a witch's cauldron, boiling, spurting, and constantly overrunning its assumed boundaries, spilling over into other pots and pans.

Like most expansive hyperrealities, the internet has become a true ship-in-a-bottle, a world within a world. From an outside perspective, the internet is merely a connection of computers based in the physical world, connected across the planet, communicating and interpreting signals, much like a ship in a bottle, it is merely a system of parts and subparts. From the inside, however, this is not the case; both are completely oblivious to the reality outside.

The internet hyperreality has started to permeate into our cultural hyperrealities, with shocking results. Hearing terms such as "Google" and "blog" in day-to-day conversation is growing ever-more commonplace, and this hyperreality is showing no signs of slowing expansion. Perhaps, one day, it will replace our cultural hyperrealities and, in time, our reality. Over eight years ago in the infamous comic strip "Dilbert," Scott Adams predicted that someday printed news would become obsolete, that online news would take the place of the traditional newspaper. This is already showing signs of being true, less than a decade later.

This Internet ship-in-a-bottle scenario was very elegantly portrayed in modern popular culture through the science fiction film "The Matrix" and its two sequels. In the film, audiences are subjected to the possibility of a nearly impenetrable hyperreality. There were few that were aware that, in reality, humanity had been reduced to power generation. An overwhelming amount of minds were only aware of the hyperreality presented to them, and even those that were growing cognitive to the reality of their situation were only vaguely aware that there was "something else."

As the internet expands into more portions of our reality, the hyperreality we are constantly experiencing overtakes more and more of our mind, though, as of current, not in so literal a fashion. Perhaps, in time, we'll find ourself facing an unimaginably immersive hyperreality, and perhaps we won't want to leave.

Matthew Montgomery


Senior Member
Brilliant. I found this very informative, yet interesting.

If the United States is a melting pot, the internet is a witch's cauldron, boiling, spurting, and constantly overrunning its assumed boundaries, spilling over into other pots and pans.
*Applaudes* I liked this :)

Best of luck.

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