Jean Baudrillard died today at the age of 77.
He was a brilliant guy and this is a sad day. From his early work taking apart Marx and Foucault, to Simulations, and Simulacrum, to the later work in which he exposed the mediated fallacy of how he experience political and historical events (e.g., The Gulf War), he was always smart, witty, and challenging.
He was a writer who loved the poetry of ideas, and the other-worldy relationship between writing and our experience of "reality". It is no surprise that he was a great reader of Borges.
Ultimately, he was someone who was able to use words to alter the way you looked at things, sometimes to expose them, sometimes to de-mystify them. But always to strip you of your preconceptions and leave you feeling as if you were experiencing something familiar, for the first time.