The paradise-offer will steadily increase and lead
to a gigantic accumulation of artificial Arcadias.
On each corner of the street El Dorado waits
for us. But what doesn’t wait for us, is happiness.
The whole running trend in product development from
the material to the immaterial, the shift to experiences,
is irrelevant. As well the semioticised as the virtual
products are again and again a knock on the golden
gate of the paradise – that never opens. But as long
as we continue to knock, we think there is hope.
And thus we continue to knock, that means to develop
In fact, our first mission for the immediate future
is to strive after a disconnection of product development
and happiness. The marvels of technology will then
show to full advantage, we will enjoy its benefits.
The real marvels of technology will come to an accounted
development and growth, without our having to become
by that necessarily more unhappy. The latter
is already something. If we will ever become happy,
is still another question. But the opposite of the
paradise is therefore not the hell.
I end by proposing a simple solution. There is now
a legal obligation to print on each packet of cigarettes
the warning "to smoke harms your health".
We know it doesn’t help. A smoker remains a smoker.
We could introduce the same legal obligation to put
on each product this warning: "this product
doesn’t make you happy". I presume it won’t
help either. A gold-seeker remains a gold-seeker.
But we must start somewhere.
Manuel Castells, The Rise of the Network Society,
Richard Crandall and Marvin Levich, A Network Orange:
Logic and Responsability in the Computer Age, New
Jean-Marie Floch, Sémiotique, marketing et
communication. Sous les signes, les stratégies,
Angel J- Gordo-Lopez and Ian Parker, Cyberpsychology,
Cees J. Hamelink, The Ethics of Cyberspace, London,
Michael Heim, The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality,
New York, 1993
Jean-Claude Heudin (ed.), Virtual Worlds: First International
Conference, Paris, July 1–3, 1998, Berlin, Heidelberg,
New York, 1998
Ken Hillis, Digital Sensations: Space, Identity,
and Embodiment in Virtual Reality, Minneapolis, London,
Rolf Jensen, The Dream Society, New York, 1999
Rob Kitchin, Cyberspace: The World in the Wires,
Howard Rheingold, Virtual Reality, London, 1992
Benjamin Woolley, Virtual Worlds: A Journey in Hype
and Hyperreality, Oxford, Cambridge, 1992
20 Years or the Prehistory of Cyberspace: Shaping
the Future, Proceedings of the Conference in Montpellier,
November 20–21, 1997, Montpellier, 1997