1. What is the point of the use of “precession” in the title? (images precede reality)
  2. What is the point of misattributing the epigraph to Ecclesiastes? (it's a simulacrum!)
  3. What were Baudrillard’s fields of education and study? (sociology) Which European critics influenced his thought?
  4. Would Baudrillard and Lyotard have agreed with each other’s claims, as represented in these essays? What value does each attribute to the past? Do they seem to share a common political orientation?
  5. Have there always been simulations, or is this a post-modern phenomenon?
  6. What does Baudrillard mean by the “hyperreal”? (1732-33) How would the Borges fable he cites need to be changed to fit modern reality? (1733)
  7. What does it mean to say that simulation is “nuclear and genetic”? (1733) What is the relation between the simulation and the referent in an age of simulations? (1733)
  8. Why does the real no longer have to be produced? (1733) What is left after the obliteration of the distinction between the real and the imaginary? (1733, “the orbital recurrence of models and the simulated generation of difference”)
  9. How does the presence of simulations invade even psychological processes and the interpretation of the unconscious? (analyzed creates dreams to accord with analyst's desires, 1734) Medicine?
  10. What does Baudrillard find illustrative about the conflict between the Iconoclasts and the Icon-worshippers? What does he believe motivated the Iconoclasts? (their fear that the images concealed nothing at all, but embodied “the death of the divine referential,” 1735)
  11. What are some results of the "murderous capacity of images"? (1735) How does simulation reverse the processes of representation? (1736, simulacrum exchanges in itself)
  12. What four stages of the image does Baudrillard postulate?
    • --image is the reflection of a basic reality (good)
    • --image masks and perverts a basic reality (evil)
    • --image masks the absence of a basic reality (plays at being an appearance)
    • --image bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum (1736)
  13. Why does the production of simulacra evoke nostalgia? What forms does this take? (proliferation of myths of origin and signs of reality; of second-hand truth, objectivity and authenticity, 1736)
  14. What does it mean to say that “There is an escalation of the true, of the lived experience; a resurrection of the figurative where the objects and substance have disappeared”? What does it mean to say that there is a “strategy of the real, neo-real and hyperreal whose universal double is a strategy of deterrence”?
  15. What does Baudrillard see as some ironies inherent in the practice of Western ethnology? Of the reformist attempts of some modern anthropologists to refrain from examining potential subjects? (1737)
  16. Does Baudrillard see these attempts as laudable? Misguided? How can you discern his attitude?
  17. What does he see as the ignoble purpose for which anthopologists have latterly striven to preserve the “Savage”? (the simulated sacrifice in order to save its reality principle, 1737)
  18. What seems inappropriate to him -- or at least simulated -- by the open museum of Creusot? Why does he see the museum as a feature of contemporary life itself? (1737)
  19. What does it mean to say that “We are all Tasaday, or Indians”? (1738) What processes does Bauldrillard see as a form of murder of every symbolic form? (1738, a world completely catalogued and analysed and then artificially revived as though real, in a world of simulation)
  20. What myth does anti-ethnology seek to perpetuate? (1738, wishes to conceal the fact that it is this world, our own, which in its way has become savage again)
  21. How does Baudrillard interpret the careful attempts to preserve the mummy of Rameses II? (need for a myth of origins, 1739) What does it mean to say that “Our entire linear and accumulative culture would collapse if we could not stockpile the past in plain view”? Is this true?
  22. Why does he believe that the stones of the cloister of St.-Michel de Cuxa should have been left where they had been exported, to the Cloisters of New York? (1740) Why is it a total simulacrum to return them to their original location?
  23. How have Americans deceived themselves in their interpretation of modern Indians? (1740) What characterizes the modern model of an original? (1740, more smiling, more “authentic”)
  24. Why does Baudrillard find Disneyland an especially potent example of a similacrum? What are its offensive features, in his view? (1740-41) What deeper realities does it mask?
  25. What qualities of Los Angeles make it, in his view, “a network of endless, unreal circulation--a town of fabulous proportions, but without space or dimensions,” a simulacrum par excellence? (1741)
  26. Which of the theorists we have read would have agreed with some/all of Baudrillard’s ideas?
  27. Is there hope within Baudrillard’s system? Can we avoid the endless procession of the hyperreal? Or does it matter?

selection in Ritvo and Ryan: "Strategy of the Real"

How does reality resist simulation? ("power risks the real, risks crisis. . . . But it is too late." (374)

What has happened to work? (has become a need, a demand proportional to the loss of stakes in the work process) What do you think Baudrillard has in mind here?

What affect do you sense in this essay? What concrete political implications, if any, might there be to his views?