Now let us analyze this setup for a moment: You are looking at an avatar character inside a 3D model of a virtual reality cave, enjoying a 'natural' landscape – welcome in the meta-meta reality.
This image almost immediately reminds one of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, in which the Greek philosopher describes human beings as being chained in a cave and watching shadows on the wall, without realizing that they are ‘only’ representations of what goes on behind them – outside of the scope of their sensory perception. In Plato’s teaching, an object such as a chair, is just a shadow of the idea Chair. The physically experienced chair we sit on is thus always a copy, a simulation, of the idea Chair and always one step away from reality.
Today the walls of Plato’s cave are so full of projectors, disco balls, plasma screens and halogen spotlights that we do not even see the shadows on the wall anymore. Unfortunately Plato did not live to give his opinion on 3D models of virtual reality caves.
See also: The Meta Meta Reality, Reflections in the Cave, Fake Space Race, World of World of Warcraft, Have a break from Second Hype.
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Koert van Mensvoort
Thanks Rick, Hilarious, and somehow I tend to sense these meta-meta-meta realities learn us something about the human condition. :) Arnoud already blogged that one from the Onion some time ago (https://nextnature.net/?p=2483), but I added it to the 'see also' links.
Speaking about meta, Onion News about playing World of World of Warcraft: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/warcraft_sequel_lets_gamers_play
what is self awareness in a world of clones and avatars? Koert i recommend you check out this series i think you'd enjoy it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzlSEpk0AGs