The More You Know: Hypermodernity

From the back cover of Hypermodern Times by Gilles Lipovetsky, 2005
"The term 'postmodernity' has been used to describe that historical transformation of the late 20th century when the institutional breaks holding back individual emancipation disintegrated, thereby giving rise to the full expression of individual desires and the quest for self-fulfilment. But there are now signs (...) that we've entered a new phase of 'hypermodernity', characterized by hyperconsumption and the hypermodern individual.
"Hyperconsumption is a consumption which absorbs and integrates more and more spheres of social life and which encourages individuals to consume for their own personal pleasure rather than to enhance their social status. Hypermodernity is a society characterized by movement, fluidity and flexibility, distanced more than ever from the great structuring principles of modernity. The hypermodern individual (...) is also filled with the kind of tension and anxiety that comes from living in a world which has been stripped of tradition and which faces an uncertain future. Individuals are gnawed by anxiety; fear has superimposed itself on their pleasures, and anguish on their liberation. Everything worries and alarms them, and there are no longer any beliefs systems to which they can turn for assurance. These are hypermodern times."
Also, from Wikipedia:
-a type, mode, or stage of society that reflects a deepening or intensification of modernity
-characteristics include a deep faith in humanity's ability to understand, control, and manipulate every aspect of human experience - typically manifested in a emphasis on the value of new technology, science and knowledge
-committed to reason and to an ability to improve individual choice and freedom
-posits that things are changing so quickly that history is not a reliable guide
-there is a disintegration between the past and the present because:
  • what happened in the past took place under "lesser" circumstances than now, and,
  • artifacts from the past clutter the cultural landscape and are reused to generate an even greater superabundance from which individuals are unable to discern original intent or meaning.
-information that is useful is selected from the superabundant sources of new media
-acts amid the chatter and excess of signification in order to escape the "nihilistic tautology" of postmodernity.
-The Internet search and the construction of interconnected blogs are excellent metaphors for the action of the hypermodern subject