The Simplified Operational Mode


All cultural forms and media are being absorbed into advertising. By this, Baudrillard means the ‘zero degree’ of meaning, the triumph of form over substance, a ‘simplified operational mode’, a seductive and pseudo-consensual presentation. Things are presented in such a way that the surface effaces and covers up any possible depth. Political soundbites, tabloid news, the cult of ‘methods’ would be variants of this new reality. Of course, the effect of this is a loss or entropy of meaning. Advertising destroys intensities and accelerates inertia. And it is itself threatened. Computer code simplifies even further than advertising. It is putting an end to the power of advertising. In an earlier work, Baudrillard emphasised that advertising actually promotes the entire social system, far more than the specific product it is meant to sell. It exists more as a way of signifying a way of life than an economic practice.


– Andrew Robinson, in ceasefiremagazine





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