A short reverse segue here. I have used the term “simulacrum” repeatedly, and many may still be vague about its usage. I like the word, rather than its simpler synonyms, because for me it includes a kind of unknown mystery beyond its mere definition. Baudrillard, the French philosopher, the father of its modern usuage, is the one who has carried it into the many shadings of unreality and mystery.
Other synonyms: duplicate, copy, double, twin, replica, doppelganger, representation, counterfeit.
Replica reminds me of the Replicants in BladeRunner. One of the issues there was trying to tell the difference (in some future time) between a real person and a robotic replicant. Once the science of replication gets so perfect, the division between the two becomes nearly invisible. That is our issue here in these many pages. (This also imbues the issue of Singlularity. a topic for another day)
One intriguing modern definition of simulacrum is “a copy without an original” This suggests the maddening dilemma of discriminating the real from the false.
It is this perverse mystery that inhabits my musings: what, in our reality, can be “authentic”. Whether one’s own Self (inner and outer), the institutions around us, or the totality of reality itself can be trusted. It is this examination and its empirical results that saturate this inquiry. The results are crucial.