The Media & Conditioning | Hyperobjects Timothy Morton

‘Hyperobject’ is a term used to describe things that span vast distances of time and space. It is because of this vastness that hyper objects are hard to conceive. “A hyperobject could be a black hole. A hyperobject could be the Lago Agrio oil field in Ecuador, or the Florida Everglades. A hyperobject could be the biosphere, or the Solar System. A hyperobject could be the sum total of all the nuclear materials on Earth; or just the plutonium, or the uranium. A hyperobect could be the very long-lasting product of direct human manufacture, such as Styrofoam or plastic bags, or the sum of all the whirring machinery of capitalism. Hyperobjects, then are “hyper” in relation to some other entity, whether they are directly manufactured by humans or not.” This, is how Morton chose to start his book, with an array of examples of hyperobjects, a term he coined in his first book, ‘The Ecological Thought’. Hyperobjects exist in every aspect of living. Morton introduces the idea of hyperobjects as a way to illustrate their impact on how we think and how we view and perceive the world. He insists that the world is full of so much uncertainty and unknown elements that we live amongst without any real understanding and we must reinvent how we think to even begin to understand the world we live in. “Hyperobjects occupy a high-dimensional phase space that results in their being invisible to humans for stretches of time. And they exhibit their effects ‘interobjectively’; that is, they can be detected in a space that consists of interrelationships between aesthetic properties of objects.” In this way, the internet is a hyperobject. In fact, I would even go as far to argue that, like global warming, it is one of the most dramatic examples of a hyperobject that exists in today’s society. The internet is one of the world’s largest entities, with Seeker’s Trace Dominguez stating that it’s “estimated that Google has only indexed 0.004% of all internet pages”, meaning that 99.996% of the internet isn’t visible to the general public. This 99.996% is known as the ‘Deep Web’, and within that lies the ‘Dark Web’ which is something that we are aware of but users need “specific software, configuration, and authorization” in order to access it. “Hyperobjects have already had a significant impact on human social and psychic space. Hyperobjects are directly responsible for what I call ‘the end of the world’, rendering both denialism and apocalyptic environmentalism obsolete. Hyperobjects have already ushered in a new human phase of ‘hypocrisy, weakness, and lameness’”. The internet holds vast amounts of information and with only 0.004% available for the average human being to access it, is unsettling, unnerving, and raises for many questions. There also a plethora of ways in which the internet itself uses its knowledge and power to manipulate its users, with privacy and conditioning coming into plays and it is imbedded deep within its DNA so we hardly notice it’s even happening. It is this idea of conditioning that I wish to explore in this section of the brief and study the effects of media conditioning and the limitations that are forever persisting in our lives as we seek to source information that we do not know 100% that it exists as we follow what we are told by the internet and the media blindly. More questions need to be asked in order to discover the actual realities of the world and this is what I intend to explore. “Hyperobjects are not just collections, systems, or assemblages of other objects.  They are objects in their right, objects in a special sense”.

Natasha Perkin

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