With each new generation of technology, and with each stage of technological expansion into pristine environments, human beings have fewer alternatives and become more deeply immersed within technological consciousness. We have a harder time seeing our way out. Living constantly inside an environment of our own invention, reactinbg solely to things we ourselves have created, we are essentially living inside our own minds. Where evolution was once an interactive process between human beings and a natural, unmediated world, evolution is now an interaction between human beings and our own artifacts. We are essentially coevolving with ourselves in a weird kind of intraspecies incest. At each stage of the cycle the changes come faster and are more profound. The web of interactions among the machines becomes more complex and more invisible, while the total effect is more powerful and pervasive. We become ever more enclosed and ever less aware of the fact. Our environment is so much a product of our invention that it becomes a single worldwide machine. We live inside it, and are a piece of it. (pg 32)On Disney World and EPCOT Center:
Each of these 'theme parks' is an unabashed attempt to concretize our popular fantasies about American life and American adventure and travel. Each park reaches into our minds to pull out and re-create the movie and schoolroom images from our childhoods, and to put us in them as if they were real.And here's a link to Hidden Kingdom Disney's Political Blueprint (Joshua Wolf Shenk) and, on the other side, a link to Waltopia. And for a truly gruesome experience, wander through EPCOT via a clickable map.
Main Street, USA is a prime example. According to the brochures, Main Street, USA "gives us a tantalizing look at the best of the 'good old days'. It is America between 1890 and 1910.". It's a world of gingerbread houses, charming horse carts sharing the road with 'old' cars, barbershop quartets, choo-choo trains, and penny arcades. No unions in this vision, No balcks-only and whites-only water fountains. No Indians. No poverty. It's a series of Hollywood images of America that might have emerged from the brain of Ronald Reagan. (pg 152)
The word EPCOT is actually an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. "The dominions of Future World literally know no bounds," says the official Disney document, speaking the infinite-growth wisdom of corporate society. EPCOT Center was invented to make us comfortable with these nonboundaries of tomorrow. One exhibit puts EPCOT's goals very explicitly: to "help people who are unsure about these changes, or feel intimidated by futuristic [environments and] seemingly complex systems, the ...exhibits are aimed at making us feel comfortable with computers and other implements of high technology." (pg 153)