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Transparency, which is the domain this site is located on, includes essays about stories depicting environments of illusion and media-fabricated settings. It also includes essays that try to make the media-fabricated environment of contemporary America transparent to the view and understanding of the reader.

Here are links to some of the essays. They range from quick reads to serious theoretical fare. This guide will provide information that will help the interested reader decide what to look at.

* Quicker read
* * Less quick read
* * * Requires time and motivation

Faking It, a 1992 Boston Globe article on fakes and illusions, and contemporary culture as an invented world, which looks at The Futurological Congress. A good introduction.*

Media Criticism -- A selection of introductory essays, including essays on The New Culture War* ; The News Media's Effort to Hide From Significant Truth* * and Popular Fiction and the Quest for Freedom * *.

Preface: the History of These Ideas * * * - Recounts the development of the author's ideas about simulation and technology over 20 years, with references to Star Trek, "The Cage", The Futurological Congress and "The Veldt".

The Electric Horseman: Escape From the Desert of Images*-- An essay on the movie, The Electric Horseman, starring Robert Redford, about a media celebrity who challenges the illusions of corporate marketing and escapes from the ultimate realm of illusions in America -- Las Vegas.

The Human Pixel Who Wouldn't *-- A column about Mike Cameron, the Pepsi shirt wearer who refused to be part  of a themed environment that was created to advertise Coke.*

Progress and Regress: Engulfment and Escape* * *, provides an overview of the plot and theme of stories about fake paradises of technology and simulation.

Here is a table showing the elements of these stories.* * *

Simulation as a Symbol of Regression and Dreams * *-- An essay on the pilot episode for Star Trek, "The Cage", and on The Futurological Congress, two sci-fi classics about characters who escape from realms of illusion.

The Machine Stops; The City and the Stars; Demolition Man *-- Brief essays on two science fiction books about characters who escape from fake paradises of technology. Also a brief essay on a movie about a character thrust into a fake paradise of technology and enforced niceness.

Worlds in a Bottle  * *-- a long but readable essay on the way the artificial jungles in zoos now surround visitors with simulated environments. The animals in these environments of fake nature are in situations similar to Truman in the movie -- they have become unwilling actors trapped in a form of immersive theater.

The Age of Simulation -- A collection of essays on the age we live in.

A detailed essay on the movie, Logan's Run* * *, about a character who escapes an enclosed city of decadence and advanced technology. 

Narcissus and Necessity * * *-- Includes a discussion of "The Veldt", a short story about children who fail to escape from an environment of regression and simulation, and Weird Science, a movie in which two teenagers discover they prefer real women to simulations of women modeled after their adolescent fantasies.

A Boy and His Dog -- Another post-apocalyptic false paradise that conceals madness and denial.

Total Recall -- The character escapes from the psychological illusions of a falsified memory and counterfeit life. Or does he?

Disney's Distorted Mirror* * * -- An essay on how environments of simulation are created and how they have their effect on us.   

And here is a section on Simulation & Postmodernism: An Overview* * *, including essays on Postmodern Society as a Simulation Machine; Symbolic Arenas; and Simulation Confusion and the Construction of Reality.

* * * * * *

External link:

Here is a site on The Truman Show and on the director, Peter Weir. As you can see from the site, Peter Weir is also the director of The Year of Living Dangerously, Witness, and Dead Poets Society.

You can Click Here to read the story of The Truman Show, if you haven't already, or you can go back to The Truman Show Home Page or to one of the other pages listed below.

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