“Democracy of Emotion” seems almost eerily apt in the wake of the global disaster that occurred around the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2004.1Now known as “the Asia Tsunami”, the series of tsunamis that were thrown up by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra represent a global accident by anyone's definition.

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An ecological accident, though, and not one of the Chernobyl kind, which was entirely man-made, but an act of God. That makes it an interesting kind of “test case” for Virilio's pivotal notion of how the electronic relaying of our reality has hijacked democracy in a mediatized, claustrophobic world in which we all see the same images at the same time on the screens that have become our ubiquitous horizon and accordingly feel the same emotions – instantly, and with panic dominant among them.

With close to 300,000...

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