mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
[personal profile] mundens
This article ('It Evolved Into Birds' on MotherBoard by Claire Evans) asked several cyber-punk writers "What happened to cyber-punk?"
Several people were flippant and seemingly didn't care to give a real answer, and others made the obvious statement that it's tropes got appropriated by the mainstream. But I want to give my answer, which I believe isn't quite like the others. To me, cyber-punk went from being a literary genre to being an emerging reality.

Anonymous, Wikileaks, Lulzsec, the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, to name just the big ones everyone knows, all reflect the core of the genre. Cyber-warfare teams are a reality on all sides of the law and the world. Physical military attacks where the primary objective is to access a data net have already occurred many times. A private security company is the second largest company (by number of employees) in the world. Corporate armies abound. Security breaches make front page news regularly. Corporate attempts to regulate the net keep coming.

Sure we can't upload minds yet, and we don't wave Wintermute level AI's yet, but we do have swarms of bug-size reconnaissance drones, intelligent limbs, direct neural interfaces (admittedly limited use at present), plug-in cyber-replacements for eyes & organs (if you can afford them), we have citizen surveillance, we have media stars like Jack Barron (from Norman Spinrad's proto-cyber-punk novel "Bug Jack Barron", I could go on & on.

And the core ideas of freedom from corporate controls, of being allowed to follow your own path, dress style, gender-preference, belief system, music, etc. are now endemic in "western" culture (even though violently opposed in some places) and are making huge in-roads into non-"Western" cultures as the net spreads ideas, images, desires, philosophies, movements, anger, support, propaganda, and anything we can digitize.

What happened to cyber-punk ? It moved from theory into practice.
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mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)

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