Am I missing something or is Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation" just a wordy "Allegory of the Cave"?
To expand, reality is "crowdsourced", patterns occur, and we can never know the ultimate source/beginning/"butterfly wing" of a pattern?
I did not read it very thoroughly, but my takeaway from it was, that it's not about the "source". It's kind of more about the motivation for doing things and how you place yourself in the world.
Think about the following very relatable modern example:
Let's say there's a guy who invents a musical instrument (in modern terms, let's say a synthesizer). People at that time consider it something unprecedented, something new, something state of the art. Some people call it "doing art". The guy goes around, plays his instrument and so on.
Nowadays, millions of people BUY technically almost the same synthesizer, push buttons, turn knobs and in modern society that's considered "doing art". But that's not the same thing as what that first guy was doing. To do the same thing for him would be just to buy the popular instrument at that time (guitar?) and play it just like millions other people.
So, it's kind of about how "shallow" your view on things and society is. How much you are trying to look through facade and not conform to society.