[now at home...one more post before I sleep...]

According to the Microsoft Word Dictionary:

VIRTUAL = being something in effect even if not in reality

REAL = having actual physical existence; verifiable as actual fact, for example, legally or scientifically

A deconstructivist, postmodern perspective does not trust the second definition of the Real – "Fact" and science are examples of the definition of Virtual in this case (as ideological constructions). What about the first definition of Real, having actual PHYSICAL existence? This could also be debated, but as I am sitting here typing online with my stomach in pain because I am hungry, I am quickly reminded of my somatic life...

I am skeptical of accounts that describe the virtual as a completely disembodied state; the correspondence between the physical body and the language produced by a social body is what creates virtuality. The virtual shows assumptions about what it is, but it doesn’t actually produce any new language. This corresponds to the notion of attribution [the perceiver projects own qualities onto the object] that is at work in Plato’s allegory of the cave. As Baudrillard observes, objects themselves are communicative (Baudrillard 23). Thus, the discursive quality of both reality and virtuality puts them in similar categories of experience.

REALITY is as much a construction of language as VIRTUALITY, and neither require a material form to be maintained as categories by the SOCIAL BODY. However, to experience one or the other, a site of origin, the CORPOREAL body must be the launch pad. As Katherine Hayles reminds us, “at the end of the twentieth century, it is evidently still necessary to insist on the obvious: we are embodied creatures,” (Hayles 3).