Living in a Modern Day Cyberpunk World

A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Blade Runner: The Final Cut.”

A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Blade Runner: The Final Cut.”

HSC English was the first time that I had studied the notion of cyberpunk in great detail. I was introduced to the text Blade Runner during my studies and was instantly drawn to the relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence that was being explored throughout. It had a great deal of focus on the crazy advancements in science and humanity’s need for answers. Discussion of cyberspace and the notion of cyberpunk introduced me to the tropes (separation of mind and body, body augmentation, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence) that make up this sub-genre. This literary movement was introduced to audiences in the 1980’s by William Gibson and identified the separation between the organic and the artificial.

Castells believes that technology does not determine society, but without technology certain social structures simply could not develop. Technology has shaped our lives, our thoughts, and in some instances our being, and will continue to do so. It is getting to the stage that material borders are slowly disappearing so that there is a free flow of information and communication between users. Cyberpunk fits into this topic as it is usually an exploration set in the future, detailed by high-technology but low-life. Erich Schnieder claims that “cyberpunk literature deals with marginalised people in technologically enhanced cultural ‘systems'”. All we seem to need now is big corporations as our government, and we are living in a cyberpunk world.

Reference:

Castells, M. (2004) ‘Afterword: why networks matter’. In Network Logic: Who governs in an interconnected world? (pp. 221-224)

The Cyberpunk Project. (2000)Project.cyberpunk.ru,. ‘Cyberpunk As A Science Fiction Genre’. 

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2 thoughts on “Living in a Modern Day Cyberpunk World

  1. Where’s your remediation?!

    Otherwise it was a great mini essay on how much of a hairline we are away from a cyberpunk society. I say it all the time but a blog medium needs to be more personalised in my opinion. The last few lines grasped this great, and it’s nice to read a ‘professionals’ opinion, but I can read their theses for that! I want to know what you think! 🙂

  2. I enjoyed your explanation of how cyberpunk culture fits in with the evolution of todays communications technologies. You bring up Castells idea that technology does not determine society, but is a chicken and the egg what comes first type question? Technology shapes society a great deal but then society aspect influence the types of technologies we have a demand for. For instance has the existence of technologies such as subscription based television viewing brought about behaviours of binge watching or did these technologies come about because there was a demand as our viewing habits changed?

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