Distributed media has brought the world to me and brought me into a world.

On the one hand, the world is at hand: I am able to view the films of Abbas Kiarostami, the artwork of Cyprien Gaillard, the writing of Walter Benjamin; the world and its history are present to me in a way that is unprecedented in the history of human culture.

On the other hand, I have never been more deeply sequestered in the confines of one particular worldview and so utterly unable to empathize – to really know – another person’s pain. I am in la la land.

But was I ever out of it?

Everything is always already filtered through endless degrees of interpretation and simulation.

Indeed, the only truly essential thing is that there is no other truly essential thing.

This is what the Internet tells me.

Google search rankings, for example, are obviously not the truly essential meaning of a term; rather what Google shows me is that there never was a truly essential meaning of a term – through its endless lists, it illustrates that that’s always the case.

But is it the case?

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