Assignment: Lecture 13 on Cyberpunk

Greetings, all! I hope that you’re all doing well and ready to have a successful close to the spring semester!

In the lecture above, I begin by recapping the final assignments in the class. Watch it and listen carefully to make sure that you don’t miss anything. For posting your research project, you will need to check out this post and video. For completing the final exam, you will need see this post. For submitting your notebook, you will need to scan/photograph the pages of your notes and email them to me (jellis at Everything in the class comes due at the end of the day at midnight on Wednesday, May 20. If you find that you need more time on something, email me BEFORE then so that we can develop a plan together as I have to submit grades shortly after our class ends and I don’t want to receive something unexpected days after the class has ended. The key thing to remember is keep me in the loop and we can work together to get you through the class successfully!

Then, I talk about cyberpunk, William Gibson, Pat Cadigan, Bruce Sterling, and The X-Files.

I’m sorry that this concluding lecture in the class couldn’t have been in person. I’ve brought show and tell with the old computers on occasion, and I’ve brought LEGO on others. When we have a handle on COVID-19 and the campus reopens, please stop by my office to check in and let me know how you’re doing. Even after our class is over, I’m happy to help you all out with feedback, advice, letters of recommendation, etc. Never sell yourselves short. Go big. Seek out opportunities to learn as much as you can, and gain as much experience as you can. Things are more difficult than they were before the virus, so my recommendation is to redouble your efforts to rise above the crowd to achieve the success that you desire.

13 thoughts on “Assignment: Lecture 13 on Cyberpunk”

  1. One of the topics that attract me more was discussed in this class; at this moment I am waiting for the video game called Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red. Also, I enjoyed a lot the video games called Deus ex human revolution and mankind divided that are based in Cyberpunk universes. This sub-genre of the literature describes a near-future where the computer technology and technology of bodily enhancement which bring the new possibilities and challenges the human must face.
    There are some previous works that fix some bases that will build the cyberpunk genre. The book called Limbo (1952) by Bernard Wolfe, The Space Merchants (1953) by Frederick Fohl, A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess, The Girl Who was Plug in (1973) by James Triptree Jr, True Names (1981) Vernor Vinge. But, there is one that stands above all those works. Because of its background and the implications that are in the real world. This book is Mother of All Demos by Douglas Englebart, the great relevance is the author imagines a world than he and his collaborator come true. Englebart and his collaborator in Stanford University were creators of the computer mouse, they created a networked computer system that enabled video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, object addressing, dynamic file linking and the real-time editing.
    The term Cyberpunk was coined by Bruce Bethke in 1983. The word came from the word Cyber that comes from Norbert Viner that created the term Cybernetics and punk that have many meanings. However, all those meanings point out social marginalization. The primordial idea of the cyberpunks was meant to return SF to its pre-new wave essence. Some of the characteristics of the cyberpunk are near future, interfaces, networks, surfaces, punk sensibilities.

  2. “Cyberpunk” where have I heard that before. I know this isn’t the cyberpunk Dr.Ellis was talking about during this lecture. But I couldn’t resist blabbering about CD Projekt reds new Cyberpunk 2077 video game. That game right there will set the standard for future SF content you just wait. At the begging of this lecture Dr.Ellis went over on what is left for the rest of the spring semester. And how we should submit the upcoming assignments, we should get everything ready for the 20th or if we need extra which is very generous. Cyberpunk carried the trace of SF. Cyberpunk was considered a sub of literature that “describes a near future where the computer technology and technological advancements bring in on all sorts of challenges”. Cyberpunk was built on four different books each with respectively differ authors. “Limbo” (1952) written by Bernard Wolfe, “the girl who was a plug”. Written by James Triptree Jr. A clockwork orange 1962 and true name. Cyberpunk main goal was to bring SF back to the top a form of resurgence. Cyberpunk focusses on a society with “High tech for the low life” featuring advancements in scientific achievements and huge advancements in technology. Most of the technology written in this sub genre is present in today’s world! Cyberpunk was a new and original wave that sf was dying for. The characteristics of cyberpunk is a edgy future where rules and boundaries don’t exist for the low life’s

  3. CYBERPUNK is truly one of the most popular genres in film and literature. When I think of a Cyberpunk world I imagine a dystopian world where humans are one with machines (andriods), technological advances have surpassed expectations, abstract fashion and of course who can forget the neon lights. Perhaps one of the most anticipated works of modern Cyberpunk to emerge in recent times is CYBERPUNK 2077 by CD Projekt RED. At this time it is a game that is still in development but it promises to be an open-world SF Cyberpunk experience like never before. One of my favorite Cyberpunk films has to be AKIRA (1988). Although the manga and its volumes are superior to the film, the animation in the film is what truly brings this Cyberpunk world to life. Learning about the origins of Cyberpunk through this week’s lecture made me not only want to check out more body of works from the sub genre, it also strengthened the appreciation for the sub genre itself. William Gibson’s burning Chrome is one of the important works that is strongly related to what we know today as Cyberpunk. In this story we meet Jack and Bobby who are both experts in their respectives fields (software and hardware). Rikki is another character in this book whose desires are very human which ironically I feel is what made this story relatable. It is a dark yet its ending leaves both Jack and Bobby devastated, reminding us that not every story has a happy ending. Cyberpunk is a response to the SF that came before it. It carries the traits of SF in its themes. Cyberpunk is the kind of SF that imagines a near future where computer technology, technology of bodily enhancement and contains the networks of global possibilities. Cyberpunk emerged to the scene during a time of social change, youth rebellion, politics “swung” and cold war tensions were at a pitch. Bruce Bethke explains that the invention of the “C” word was a conscious creation on his part. Meaning he was intentionally trying to come up with a term that grok or to put in other words screamed what this specific genre was going to be. Cyber comes from Norbert Wiener’s definition of Cybernetics control system and Punk relating to terms of worthlessness, youthfulness, criminality etc. We were left with a great list of works to check out. I personally made the decision to watch Blade Runner (1982) and explore this work for my research paper. Once I have submitted everything and finished this course I plan to spend my summer watching some of these Cyberpunk films along with other SF works mentioned in our class!

  4. Cyberpunk, sub-genre or movement, is the kind of science fiction that imagines a new future where computer technology, technical enhancement, and the networks of global capital have opened up new possibilities and created new challenges. Cyberpunk was supposed to bring science fiction back to its’ pulp science fiction days. The term was coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his story ‘Cyberpunk’ in the 1983 issue of Amazing Stories. The characteristics of cyberpunk are: near future, interfaces, networks, surfaces, and punk sensibilities. Precursor to cyberpunk are: James Tiptree Jr’s “The Girl who was Plugged in” (1973), Vernor Vinge’s “True Names” (1981), Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange” (1962), Bernard Wolfe’s “Limbo” (1952), and John Sladek’s “The Muller-Fokker Effect” (1970). Cyberpunk also describes the postmodern condition which includes: the weakening of historicity, the breakdown between high and low culture, the waning of affect and death of individual subjects, a new technology called a computer, and depthlessness.
    X-Files was created by Chris Carter for the Fox Network Friday night lineup. It aired for 9 seasons from 1993 to 2002. X-Files follows Dana Scully and Fox Mulder as they investigate cases too strange or weird to be taken seriously by the FBI, cases named the X-Files. The episode watched for this lecture “Kill Switch” was co-written by William Gibson and Tom Maddax.
    William Gibson (1948-present) helped form the key ideas of cyberpunk. The ideas were using rich metaphors, coining the term ‘cyberspace’, writing “the street finds its own use for things” meaning that while technology may be designed for one purpose humans can find new uses for it, saying “we’re all cyborgs” cause the network that technology power and capital our lives controlling them, and determining that “the future has arrived-it;s just not evenly distributed yet” meaning that the future arrives earlier for some than others.

  5. Our 5/13 lecture covered the Cyberpunk sub-genre. Cyberpunk, like other sub-genres of SF, is a response to the literature that came before it. Cyberpunk imagines a near future where technology bioenhancement and networks of global capital have opened up new opportunities and challenges. Movements in the U.S. in the sixties came to an end around the time the National Guard fired on protesters at Kent State. Around this time, capitalism, rapid technological advancement and the Cold War came to the fore. Some works that preceded Cyberpunk included Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo (1952), about a cybernetic dystopia, Cyril M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl’s The Space Merchants (1953), about mega-corps and advertising, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1962), James Tiptree
    Jr.’s Girl Who Was Plugged In (1973), about VR and telepresence, and Alvin Toffler’s non-fiction work Future Shock (1970), about too much change occurring too quickly. An important figure influential to the sub-genre was Douglas Englebart (1925-2013), who conducted the “mother of all demos” in 1968. He invented the computer mouse, played a role in developing tele- and video-conferencing, word processing, object addressing, dynamic file linking, revision control and collaborative, real-time editing.
    1) The term “cyberpunk” was coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his story “Cyberpunk,” published in Amazing Stories in 1983. He tried to invent a term that grokked the juxtaposition of punk attitudes and high technology. “Cyber” comes from Norbert Wiener’s “Cybernetics,” feedback and control systems (Greek: streersman). “Punk”: associated with worthlessness, marginalism, etc. Editor Gardner Dozois popularized the term by using it to describe SF writers in WaPo in 1984. Five characteristics of Cyberpunk SF were:
    1) Topics on the near future
    2) Interfaces (e.g. body and machine)
    3) Networks (capital, informational and political)
    4) Surfaces (narratives usually value the superficial aspects of characters, a reflection of their commoditized value in society), and
    5) Punk sensibilities (telling the story straight)
    Cyberpunk describes the post-modern condition. Global networks of capital are shown to penetrate all aspects of life and create a new human condition, which includes weakening of historicity, breakdown of distinction between high and low culture, depthlessness, a waning affect and death of individual subject and a new technology (computers).
    William Gibson (b. 1948) is one of the foremost authors of Cyberpunk. His work employs rich metaphors that describe post-Industrial worlds, he coined the term “cyberspace” (used in the 1982 “Burning Chrome”), a “consensual hallucination,” and a theme of his stories is “the street finding its own use for things,” meaning that human beings will ultimately repurpose things to meet their own agendas. He believed that we are all cyborgs because of the technology, power and capital that mediate our lives and spawn AI in his stories. He famously believes that “the future has arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” The X-Files episode we watched (“Killswitch”, 1998) was co-written by William Gibson and Tom Maddox and was about a Silicon Valley technologist named Donald Gelman, who was being targeted by a computer program that is an independently functioning AI that he built himself. The AI would potentially live forever on the internet, but Gelman, attempting to destroy his creation, was targeted by it in its defense. Gelman’s former partners “Invisigoth” and David Markham wanted to upload their consciousness to the AI and live forever. Mulder and Scully find the physical node where the hardware that runs the AI is stationed – inside a trailer on a chicken farm in Virginia (with its own T3 connection…). They feed the program the killswitch file, but it only serves to let Mulder and Scully escape. The AI learns the killswitch and lives on in another trailer. Invisigoth successfully uploads herself to the AI to live on forever with Marham.
    “Burning Chrome” was written by William Gibson (b. 1948) in 1982 and is about a pair of hackers (or digital “cowboys”) that are attempting to hack and steal from (or “burn”) “Chrome,” a mysterious, powerful and wealthy woman that owns “The House of Blue Lights,” a kind of virtual reality brothel. Bobby Quine, the main hacker and software expert of the pair, takes a liking to Rikki Wildside, a young woman who desperately wants to be famous in this future world by acquiring a set of prosthetic/bio-enhanced ocular lens, which would allow others to see through her eyes, allowing her to become a “model” of sorts. Automatic Jack, the protagonist and hardware expert of the pair, falls in love with Rikki and reluctantly helps Bobby hack into Chrome’s data to steal her money while also trying to protect Rikki from retribution. After the pair successfully “burn” Chrome, the success is not enough to keep Rikki around, who pursues a new life in L.A. with her new ocular lenses, earned through prostitution at Chrome’s House of Blue Lights.

  6. For our 13th and final lecture, we discussed the subgenre and literary movement called Cyberpunk. Similar to what the Golden Age of SF was to Pulp, and what New Wave/Feminist SF was to the Golden Age: Cyberpunk was a response to the historical and cultural era before it. Cyberpunk is the kind of Science Fiction that imagines a near future (rather than the distant future we were used to reading in the Golden Age and New Wave). It speaks of a future with technological advancements and bodily enhancements (cyborgs), and also of networks of global capital which open up possibilities and create new challenges.

    The term was first coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his story published in a 1983 issue of Amazing Stories. Bethke describes creating the term as a “deliberate” and “conscience” effort as he wanted some that would appeal to the audiences as well as something that would capture his story perfectly. He began by listing words that related to the topic of his story and wound up using Norman Spinrad’s “cybernetics,” (involving feedback and control systems) and punk (pertaining to youthfulness, hooliganism, criminality, marginality, etc).

    A goal of Cyberpunk was to try and return Science Fiction to it’s pre-New Wave essence – it was used again in review of various SF writer’s work. Similar to push back that was given to the UK term New Wave, Cyberpunk received the same opposition to its title. Writers of the subgenre didn’t support each other’s work even though they many similarities than they would like. They were all ambitious who were not satisfied with the work that had been put out.

    I found it interesting to hear about William Gibson’s (1948-Present) life (it was a bit comical too). He was a writer who helped form key ideas of the cyberpunk movement:
    – He used rich metaphors to describe the post-industrial world
    – Coined the term “cyberspace” in reference to a computer deck
    – “the street finds its own use for things” meaning you can create technologies with one purpose but people will find other uses for it own their own
    – His idea that we are all cyborgs because of technology, power, and capital – our lives are mediated by these things
    – “The future has arrived – it’s just not evenly distributed yet” – future we imagine arrives earlier for some and in some cases does the future arrive at all

    The thing that turns me away from this subgenre of SF is the lack of depth reported in its works. Having listened to and learned from our lectures in this class it is apparent that the goal of SF was always to teach the reader or inform of them of something involving science. Not to say Cyberpunk is lesser in value, but I feel as though it should hold more to it than surface-level plots/characters. I do understand that it directly stems from a point in time in which many things across the world are changing after the wars so it is possible people writing in a numbed state of mind.

  7. In our last lecture class, lecture 13 we discussed Cyberpunk
    Cycles of response/reaction
    • Golden Age responds to pulp Science Fiction
    • New wave and Feminist Science Fiction respond to Golden Age
    • Cyberpunk, in turn, is a response to the Science Fiction That came before it
    Cyberpunk- is a subgenre, a kind of Science Fiction that imagines a near future where computer technology, technology of bodily enhancement, and the networks of global capital, opened up new possibilities and ne challenges.
    It was the counterculture of the late 1960’s and 1970’s, ended on May 4, 1970, when national guards opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University.
    Precursors to Cyberpunk
    • Limbo (1952), Banard Wolf (1915-1985)
    • The Space Merchants (1953), Frederik Pohl (1919-2013)
    • The Girl Who was Plugged In (1973), James Tiptree Jr. (1915-1987)
    • Future Shock (1970), Alvin Toffler (1928-2016)
    Mother of all demos was a computer system invented by Douglas Englebarts (1925-2013) December 9, 1968.
    The term cyberpunk was coined by Bruce Bethke (1955); it was the title of his story published in Amazing Stories in 1983. Cyber comes from Norbert Weiner’s cybernetics. Science Fiction editor Gardener Dozoios popularized the term cyberpunk by using it to describe a core group of new generation of Science Fiction writers in an article of the Washington Post on December 30, 1984.
    Characteristics of Cyberpunk
    • Near future
    • Interfaces
    • Network
    • Surfaces
    • Punk sensibilities
    Postmodern condition- Fredric Jameson
    • Weakening of historicity
    • Breakdown between high and low culture
    • Deathlessness
    • Waning of affect and death of individual subject
    • A new technology; computers
    William Gibson (1948) coined the term cyberspace in 1982 but only explained the meaning in Neuromancer in 1984.
    Cyberspace- a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitiment operators.
    The X files Kill Switch was written by William Gibson and Tom Maddick, was aired on February 15, 1998, the murder of a computer programmer leads Mulder and Scully to the discovery of a sentient loose on the internet.
    Burning Chrome (1982), William Gibson (1948), two hacker’s automatic Jack and software expert Bobby Quine. Bobby is interested in Rikki, he want to become rich inorder to impress her, he gains a powerful Russian program that can penetrate corporate security systems.

  8. In this lecture, we learn about cyberpunk. The characteristics of Cyberpunk literature includes the near future. It features interfaces such as body and machine, where it is part biological and part machine. Networks such as political networks that are stronger and interpersonal networks are weaker. Surfaces where most of the characters want connections to others and to break through these surfaces. Punk Sensibilities including the challenge to authority and har-boiled prose meaning to tell the story straight without the experimentation of the new wave. We also learn about William Gibson, who is an important figure in Cyberpunk. He has done important things that form the key ideas of the cyberpunk movement. His stories include “Burning Chrome” (1982) and the Sprawl Trilogy which includes “Neuromancer” (1984), Count Zero” (1986), and “Mona Lisa Overdrive” (1988). “Burning chrome” It tells the story of two freelance hackers known as Bobby Quine and Automatic Jack. Bobby Quine falls for a girl named Rikki and wants to become wealthy in order to impress her. Bobby Quine plans a heist to steal Chrome’s money and destroy House of Blue Lights and help get Ricky her lenses using the stolen money. William Gibson along with Tom Maddox have co written for the show, “The X-Files” which aired for nine seasons from 1993 – 2002. “Kill Switch” is the eleventh episode of the fifth season. It is about the murder of a well-known computer programmer which leads Mulder and Scully to investigate an artificial intelligence on the internet that has begun evolving no its own.

  9. The topic of Lecture 13 is the Cyberpunk SF subgenre. Many stories and films have been created that describe near future societies where technology is present in most aspects of the lives of its characters, but its presence is not advantageous to them. Stories and films about worlds where technology has evolved while society has simultaneously devolved, leading to characters that are low-class and superficial in nature. Gardner Dozois in a 1984 article in The Washington Post popularized the term Cyberpunk by using it to describe a group of writers which included Greg Bear (b. 1951), Pat Cadigan (b. 1953), William Gibson (b. 1948), Bruce Sterling (b. 1954), and Lewis Shiner (b. 1950) when he said, “ the purveyors of bizarre hard-edged high-tech stuff who have on occasion been referred to as Cyberpunks”.

    William Gibson one of the writers referred to as a Cyberpunk, in Dozois’ 1984 article, is the author of this week’s assigned reading, “Burning Chrome”, a short story published in the July 1982 edition of Omni, and is a co-writer for this week’s assigned viewing, The X-Files: “Kill Switch”, which aired on Fox Network on February 15, 1998. “Burning Chrome” is a Cyberpunk SF story about a hacker named Bobby, his partner Automatic Jack, and his love interest, Rikki. The characters live in a technologically advanced but oppressive world where they struggle financially and as a result, are unscrupulous and superficial. Bobby is in an effort to obtain money devises a plan to hack into the financial computer system of the well-connected local criminal Chrome, Automatic Jacks has dealings with the shady character Finn from whom he acquires a Russian software program that will be used in Bobby’s plan, and Rikki prostitutes herself to earn money to buy designer mechanical eyes in hopes of being famous. The X-Files: “Kill Switch” is another example of Cyberpunk SF. The episode is referred to as “a monster of the week” episode because it does not follow the storyline of the show. In the episode, the main characters FBI Agent Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, and Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, are tasked with investigating the death of a computer programmer named Donald Gelman that has been off the grid for many years. After following a lead they discover a gothlike character named Invisigoth that explains to them that an AI is responsible for Gelman’s death and will try to kill them as well to prevent itself from being deactivated. Further, in the episode, Mulder is tortured by the AI and then rescued, and Ivisigoth discovers her lover David has been killed. At the end of the episode, Ivisigoth transfers her mind into Cyberspace where I suspect David’s is as well.

  10. In this week’s lecture, we covered the topic of Cyberpunk. We began with discussing cycles of response and reaction regarding science fiction. Cyberpunk is a response to the science fiction that came before it. It carries the trace of science fiction. It is the kind of science fiction that imagines a near future where computers, technology, and technologies of bodily enhancement and the networks of global capital have opened up new possibilities and created new challenges. We then discussed the precursors to cyberpunk. The precursors include Limbo (1984) by Bernard Wolfe, The Space Merchants (1953) by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth, A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess, The Girl who was Plugged In (1973) by James Tiptree Jr., True Names (1981) by Vernor Vinge, and Future Shock (1970) by Alvin Toffler. We also discussed the origins of the term cyberpunk and the characteristics of the genre. Next, we learned about Douglas Englebart (1925-2013). He and a team created a network computer system that enabled video conferencing, tele-conferencing, hypertext, word processing, object addressing, dynamic file, linking, revision control, and collaborative real time editing. Thus, today we have things like FaceTime and Zoom thanks to him. Then, we discussed postmodern conditions including weakening of historicity, the breakdown between high and low culture, a waning of effect and death of individual subject, and a new technology; computers. Furthermore, we learned about William Gibson, born in 1948. We discussed characteristics of his work including rich metaphors, the coin term ‘cyberspace’, “the street finds its own use for things”, we are all cyborgs, and “the future has arrived – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” Lastly, we discussed other influences on Cyberpunk such as Bruce Sterling, born in 1954 and Pat Cadigan, born in 1953.

  11. In our previous lecture we went over the origins of cyberpunk and how the term came to be coined from a writer by the name of Bruce Bethke. There was discussion on the precursors to cyberpunk in the SF literary world. I thought it was interesting how one of my favorite stories “Clockwork Orange” was a precursor to cyberpunk. An arguable term was discussed called “The Neuromantics” that never caught on as much as cyberpunk by a writer named Norman Spinard. He made a correlation to William Gibson novel “Neuromancer” and the explorations of what it means to be human in a post-industrial world. The major characteristics of cyberpunk was also covered which were topics of the near future, interfaces, networks, surfaces, punk sensibilities.
    Our reading for the week was a short story written by William Gibson in the magazine “Omni” entitled “Burning Chrome.” The characters in the story were Bobby Quine a software expert, Automatic Jack the hardware specialist, and Rikki a prostitute in a major criminal’s brothel by the name of Chrome. Certain cyberpunk characteristics with the characters are things like Rikki the prostitute having eye implants. The main plot of the story involves Bobby and Jack acquiring a powerful Russian software called “Icebreaker” that can infiltrate corporate security systems. They want to use it on the major criminal lord Chromes system. Bobby fall for Rikki and mistakenly buys her a ticket to a place she never returns from. Also, we were to watch the “X-Files” episode “Kill Switch” written also by William Gibson. It was a plot that involved hackers goth chicks and software nerds. The plot was to take down an intelligent software that began to gain its own consciousness.

  12. In our final lecture, the subject was focused on Cyberpunk as a sub-genre and literary movement of Science Fiction. It was said to be a response to the Science Fiction that came before it. It was also stated that CYberpunk is the kind of Science Fiction that imagines a near future where computer technology, technologies of bodily enhancement, in the networks of global capital have opened up new possibilities and created new challenges. It was interesting to see how the term came to be. A man named Bruce Bethke coined the term. The part “cyber” comes from Norbert Weiner’s “Cybernetics,” and “punk” meant worthlessness, marginality, youthfulness, hooliganism, criminality, and homosexual prostitution.
    Stated in the lecture, there are 5 characteristics of Cyberpunk:
    1) Near future
    2) Interfaces, which could be body and machine, brain and computer, or emblematized by the image of the cyborg.
    3) Networks, which includes networks of global capital, information, political networks, and personal networks.
    4) Surfaces, which is when the characters are known by name, what they do, the performance of their identity, and who they work with.
    5) Punk sensibilities, which includes the challenge to authority, and hard-boiled probes.

    The story assigned was “Burning Chrome” by William Gibson (1948-Present), which is about a man named Automatic Jack, and his partner Bobby Quine. Both of these men are hackers, who work together to effectively rob money from a famous criminal named Chrome. Just from the plot overview, you can see the characteristics of the sub-genre it is placed in. As stated before in the lecture, Cyberpunk Science Fiction involves money, networking, and technology. This is already emphasized heavily, seeing that these two men use their knowledge and their technology to gain money from a man they know is already well-known and rich.

  13. Cyberpunk is a subgenre of Science Fiction that imagines a near future where computer technology, technologies bodily enhancements, and networks of global capital have opened up new possibilities and created new challenges. It explores rapidly advancing technology and the effects that it can have on human beings. Bruce Bethke coined the term when he made it the title of his 1980 short story. Cyberpunk has five major characteristics, it takes place in the near future, deals with interfaces, deals with networks, it is all surface, and it includes punk sensibilities. Cyberpunk describes the postmodern condition which includes a weakening of historicity, a breakdown between high and low culture, depthlessness, a new technology in computers, and a waning of affect and death of individual subjects, meaning that we are all just fragmented individuals and numbers within the world machine. William Gibson wrote with rich metaphors and coined the term “cyberspace” He believed that “The street finds its own use for things,” meaning that different technologies are used in different ways by different cultures and societies. This is relevant to techno-politics, a matter that I research and write about often because I believe it is of extreme importance to our world. He also believed that humankind has already become cyborgs because we are all mediated by our technology and the technological systems that are integrated all around our daily lives. He also believed that the future has already arrived, it just is not evenly distributed yet. Gibson questions if the future will ever be equitably and evenly distributed.

Leave a Reply