Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cyber Paradigm Shift

I hate to admit it but a large reason why I idolize computers and writing is because I idolize the tone and methos of cyber punk and noir. It looked cool. The lone hacker (Miles you are in no way, shape or form a hacker. Shut up.) sitting at his computer working from a spartan kick-ass base of operations.

Then I get bored because I think I should get out more. Then I realize the vast majority of things I want or need to do can be done by computer and go what's the point. Want to hang out at the electronics store and video game store, naw I'll just surf through Amazon. How about the record store? Ah Amazon. Bank. I do that online. Post office? Email. How about a party, I can talk to the same people using Facebook in my underroos.

For nearly every fun thing that involves going out I can think of something that serves the same purpose that could be done from home.

I looked at those movies, shows and comics and my eyes glowed at the urban landscape, but now I think, Do I really have a reason to experience that landscape."

It used to bug me, but I think I'm getting used to the simple fact that well I have an efficient, base of operations. Is that a bad thing?

It's time I re-read the Post-Cyber Punk Manifesto. The urban landscape made cyberpunk, but in this new world where cyberpunk is slowly becoming reality what role does the city play? The old paradigms just don't fit anymore. Is the city still gritty yes, but it just seems like there is a division between that grittiness and technology that is at odds with the old view of cyberpunk? Technology has become prevalent in our lives but there to me still seems to be a division between the virtual and real worlds. They affect each other but aren't quite as symbiotic as in classic cyberpunk. Mortar and concrete are inherently different from bites and binary.

When a good chuck of the goods and services you use are just code and data to be downloaded from you're PC what happens to the old noir notions, mainly ideas of the city, that got transposed to cyberpunk?

I mean hell, a good chunk of urban problems are caused by the digital divide and lack of tech rather than the flat out misuse of it by big brother. I didn't say big brother doesn't exist though.

It's okay to gloss over these sorts of issues if the point of the narrative is to just be cool, but sometimes the goal of sci-fi is to mirror and discuss changes in society and project those changes into a speculative future. The speculative future of classic cyber punk in a lot of ways has been debunked, but in others has been proven true. How does the genre adapt to that while staying true to it's roots.

Ah screw it.

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