Tools for Dealing with the Postmodern World

Why the modern era had to be deconstructed

Mike Meyer
8 min readOct 17, 2019


by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ October 2019

We are now postmodern. Damn, we have to decide what that term really means. All those people who felt secure in mocking the craziness of ‘deconstructionism’, ‘postmodernism’, and ‘poststructuralism’ as the end of the social sciences back in the ‘90s and not worth further thought are being troubled by the reality of the eternal return.

What resulted was not a system or solution but a set of descriptions, tools, rhetorical devices, and concepts that dealt with destabilizing the older concepts of identity, historical progress, and certainty. These devices included repetition, difference, simulacrums, and hyper reality.

Back in the ’80s and ’90s these were purely academic debates and safely removed from real life. We now face the reality of destabilized concepts as objects constantly from diversity in identity to the replacement of truth. This is not academic anymore.

Understanding postmodern society is what we have to do everyday. Somehow it got real and we are struggling to find the mental tools to understand how everything went to hell.

The tools that we need were being worked out by a range of anthropologists, linguists, historians, and others over the last forty years. This is not a surprise and is what is supposed to happen as human society evolves in reaction to scientifically driven change and growing complexity. Sometimes it works.

The irony of the eternal return and virtual reality as endless, equally valid images is continuously challenged by alternative facts. Is authority really based in lies? The disintegration of our planet and human society by the artifice of capitalist hierarchical roles is now a hard political issue.

If everything is information and information is in constant flux how do we justify judges and rulers? How do we rank concepts that are in continuous change? We are asked to distinguish between news and fake news but under it we know that everything is another simulacrum. Does it make sense to accept a simulacrum as real? If not, what is it?



Mike Meyer

Writer, Educator, Campus CIO (retired) . Essays on our changing reality here, news and more at